Plant Ecology and Systematics, 120 credits

An understanding of the mechanisms that shape and modify plant diversity is of fundamental importance for all biological disciplines. This is the subject for you – if you are interested in plant ecology, systematics, evolution and biodiversity. You will learn about the mechanisms that are involved in the evolution of new plant species and the factors that control plant diversity and the distribution of plant species. You will come to understand the way in which mating systems and population structure influence gene flow and genetic diversity in plants. You will find out about how plants interact with other organisms and their ability to adapt to environmental change. At the same time, you will gain practical experience of ecological and systematic methodology.


The educational programme has a clear focus on biodiversity and conservation biology. It provides a foundation for continued higher education studies in plant ecology and systematics as well as for a diverse range of other careers for plant biologists within: the public sector, forestry and agricultural organizations, ecological and conservation consultancy, plant-breeding and education.

You have the possibility to direct your studies toward your own specific interests. If you are interested in a future as a conservation biologist, it will be useful to include courses such as Mosses, Lichens, Fungi - biodiversity and conservation (BIOR11), Nature Conservation (BIOR23), Conservation Biology (BIOR37), Biological monitoring (BIOR39) and Floristics intermediate course (BIOF03).

 If you are more interested in a future as a researcher, it will be useful to include courses like Soil Ecology (BIOR24), Molecular Ecology and Evolution (BIOR25), Genetic analysis I, II (BIOR59, BIOR60), Plant Systematics and Diversity (BIOR72) and Mountain Plant Ecology (BIOR62).

Prerequisites and application

Recommended Course of study

Year 1

Population and Community Ecology (BIOR69) or Soil Ecology (BIOR24) or Mosses, Lichens, Fungi - Biodiversity and Conservation(BIOR11)

Frontiers in Ecology (BIOS04) - part time

Plant Ecology and Evolution (BIOR74)

Conservation Biology (BIOR37) or Molecular Ecology and Evolution (BIOR25) or Genetic Analysis I (BIOR59) and Genetic Analysis II (BIOR60)

Plant Systematics and Diversity (BIOR72) and Project

Floristics intermediate course (in Swedish only)   (BIOF03) or Mountain Plant Ecology (BIOR62) or start of Degree project

Year 2

The Scientific Method (BIOS11) or Soil Ecology (BIOR24) or Mosses, Lichens, Fungi - Biodiversity and Conservation (in Swedish only) (BIOR11)

Plant Biology (BIOR26) or Nature Conservation (in Swedish only)   (BIOR23)

Degree project

Degree title:

Master of Science (Two Years)
Major:Biology with specialization in Plant Ecology

Programme Fact Sheet


Page manager: Inger Ekström
Questions about the website: Web Group
Publisher: Department of Biology

Last modified 1 Mar 2013

Study coordination and guidance

Lotta Persmark
Student Advisor
Education office



Programme coordinator Plant Ecology and Systematics

Stefan Andersson



Lund University, Box 117, SE-221 00 Lund, Sweden. Tel: +46 (0)46 222 00 00