Introduction to Ecology

(Course Code: 104Υ, Course outline)

Semester: 3 Teaching Credits: 3 ECTS Credits: 5 Type: Compulsory
Prerequisite Courses:  – Course type: General background Instructor: Dimitrakopoulos P.

This introductory course aims at describing the fundamentals of biological organization (from populations to ecosystems and landscapes) as well as the core methods, concepts and processes of the living world and the biosphere.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to understand and master:

  • Initial concepts of Population, Community and Ecosystems Ecology together with essential principles of evolutionary and functional Ecology.
  • Tools of Ecology
  • Knowledge on impacts (man-made and natural) upon the functioning and integrity of natural systems.
Topics per Week:
  • An Introduction to Ecology
  • Resources and conditions
  • The World’s biomes
  • General principles of Population ecology
  • Biotic interactions
  • Population dynamics
  • Energy flow through ecosystems
  • Biogeochemical cycles
  • Ecosystem productivity
  • Ecological Succession
  • Introduction to biological diversity
Theory – Lectures
(hours / week)
Exercises – Laboratories
(hours / week)
Other Activities:  –
Grading: Methods of evaluation: two written tests (50% of the total grade each) (Multiple Choice Questions, Short statements on specific questions, Critical Arguments on scientific judgment issues).
Notes: Presentation files of lectures & exercises‐laboratories
Basic Textbook:
  • Relyea, R., Ricklefs, R.. 2019. Ecology, the economy of nature. Broken Hill/Paschalidis. Athens.
  • Molles MC. 2008. Ecology, concepts and applications, Mataixmio Publications, Athens.
  • Νentwig, S. Bacher, R. Brandl. 2012. Principles of Ecology. Kleidarithmos Publications. Athens
  • Veresoglou D (2010) Ecology.  D. Gartaganis Publications. Athens
  • Begon, M., Harper J.L., Townsend, C.R. (1996) «Ecology: Individuals, Populations and Communities», Blackwell Science Inc.
  • Krebs C. J. (1994) Ecology: The Experimental Analysis of Distribution and Abundance. HarperCollins College Publishers
  • Chapin III SF, Matson PA, Mooney HA (2002) Principles of Terrestrial Ecosystem Ecology. Springer‐ Verlag New York, Inc.
  • Henderson PA (2003) Practical Methods in Ecology. Blackwell Science Ltd.

The course is taught in Greek. For exchange students, English literature is proposed and examinations are given in English.

Internet Links: 1. Hellenic Ecological Society:

2. European Ecological Federation:

3. Ecological Society of America:

4. The International Association for Ecology: