University of Technology Sydney

91270 Plant Physiology and Climate Change

6cp; Lectures: 2hpw x 11wks (self-guided online); laboratory and glasshouse: 9wks (2hpw x 4wks; 3hpw x 5wks; face-to-face)
Requisite(s): ( 91123 Nature and Evolution OR ((65212 Chemistry 2 OR 65213 Chemistry 2 (Advanced))))
Recommended studies:

Students are strongly advised to have previously completed a subject or training in basic ecology and/or biological science.


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 agricultural systems.

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 weekly self-paced videos and associated learning materials, writing and answering concept-check questions for and from their peers, and applying knowledge and skills through campus-based, hands-on practical work, including a major group-designed and lead glasshouse experiment. Concepts learned include how plants fix carbon, long-distance water and solute transport into and through plants, movement and control of water fluxes in the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum, comparative physiology of plants in contrasting environments and physiological responses of plants to environmental and climatic stress.

Typical availability

Spring session, City campus


This subject was formerly called Plant Ecophysiology.

Detailed subject description.

Access conditions

Note: The requisite information presented in this subject description covers only academic requisites. Full details of all enforced rules, covering both academic and admission requisites, are available at access conditions and My Student Admin.