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. Gaining an understanding of the physiology and ecophysiology of plants is essential for anyone pursuing a career in environmental science, whether in research or applied fields. It also scaffolds an understanding of the impacts of climate change on native environments and agriculture.

This subject introduces the key concepts, processes and techniques required to understand the basics of the physiology of plants and their physiological interactions with the abiotic environment (ecophysiology). Students learn using a combination of lectures, lecture-based question and answer sessions, practical lab work, peer-learning 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; carbon and water budgets; behaviour and physiology of stomata; ion uptake by plant roots; comparative physiology of plants in contrasting environments and physiological responses of plants to varying environmental and climatic stressors.

Typical availability

Spring session, City campus


This subject was formerly called Plant Ecophysiology.

Detailed subject description.

Access conditions

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