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BI424 Introduction to Botany

Course description for academic year 2021/2022

Contents and structure

The evolution of plants, protists and fungi, and the relationship between these groups. Morphology, life cycles and life forms. Introduction to plant biodiversity and to floristics: ca. 360 taxa (species, genera and families) and usage of floras and flora keys. The course lays a foundation for understanding ecological processes at community and ecosystem level, and for identifying common Norwegian ecossystems.

Learning Outcome

The student shall:

  • understand how life originated on earth, and how plants, fungi, and protists have developed through evolution.
  • know the general morphology of non-vascular and vascular plants, protists, and fungi.
  • be able to identify common Norwegian plant species in common Norwegian ecosystems.

The student shall

  • be able to describe life-cycles of selected plants, protists and fungi and how these groups adapted to terrestrial life.
  • be able to describe characteristics of common Norwegian plant families.

The student shall:

  • be able to identify ca 100 taxa of non-vascular plants and fungi and about 265 taxa of vascular plants (240 species and 20-25 genera/families).
  • know how to use floras and flora keys for identification of plants.

Entry requirements


Recommended previous knowledge


Teaching methods

Lectures, group work, field course, laboratory exercises

Compulsory learning activities

Participation in 5-8 excursions and approved laboratory report from 8 laboratory exercises.


1) Written examination under supervision, 4 hours, 67%.

2) Practical examination, floristic exam, 1 hour, 33%.

Grading: A-F. 

Examination support material

1) Written examination under supervision: none

2) Floristic exam: all non-digital aids allowed (except for own herbarium material)

More about examination support material