University of Technology Sydney

91270 Plant Physiology and Climate Change

6cp; 2hpw (lecture, online), 3hpw (practical class, online or laboratory: check schedule)
Requisite(s): ( 91123 Nature and Evolution OR ((65212 Chemistry 2 OR 65213 Chemistry 2 (Advanced))))


Plants are the cornerstone of energy capture and transformation of all ecosystems. The productivity of plants and their influence on water, carbon, nutrient and energy cycles is central to the functioning of landscapes. Development of an understanding of the physiology and ecophysiology of plants allows students to contribute to ongoing debates about overcoming the impacts of climate change, global food insecurity and the rise of water scarcity as a socio-political issue.

This subject introduces the key concepts, processes and techniques required to understand the basics of the physiology of plants and the interaction of the abiotic environment with plants in the field (ecophysiology). It is taught using a combination of lectures, lecture-based question and answer sessions, practical lab work, and group project work. Topics covered include a selection from the following: how plants fix carbon; long-distance transport in the phloem; uptake, movement and control of water fluxes in the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum; landscape carbon and water budgets; behaviour and physiology of stomata; ion uptake by plant roots; comparative ecophysiology of plants in contrasting environments; the ecophysiology of global forest mortality in response to drought; and the physiology of plants exposed to stress.

Typical availability

Spring session, City campus


This subject was formerly called Plant Ecophysiology.

Detailed subject description.

Access conditions

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