Ecology And Management Of Sorghum Ergot ( Claviceps Africana)


Files MUST BE in Microsoft Word format!

Value:   20%

Length: 2,500 words (± 500) (about 8 double-spaced A4 pages)


 “Review the ecology (weeds, insects) or epidemiology (diseases) of an important weed, disease or insect pest affecting Australian crops or pastures. Discuss how the ecology/epidemiology and/or life history strategy of this weed or disease affect the choice of tactics for managing it.”

Give your essay a snappier title than this. e.g. ‘Ecology and management of XXXX’


1. The objective of this assignment is to get you thinking about the applications of ecology to pest management.  We will be looking for ecological interpretation.  Simple descriptions of the life cycle and techniques currently used for controlling the pest will not suffice.  Make the links between the pest’s ecology, and the types of control tactics that YOU THINK are most likely to succeed and the reasons why.

2. You are expected to consult the original scientific literature (that is, scientific journals, reviews and books) to complete this assignment. Excessive reliance on “soft” literature such as farming magazines, newspapers and web sites will be penalised. These sources can be useful for this assignment, but as supplements to the “hard” scientific literature, not as substitutes for it. All sources (including those for any figures or tables) must be cited correctly in-text using the author-date system with an accurate and complete reference list.

3. We will not be looking for detailed knowledge of pest management practices in this assignment, especially practices which are currently used against particular pests e.g. this chemical or that. You will be acquiring that knowledge later in the unit. Rather, we are looking for understanding of general principles, especially in relation to their ecological aspects.

4. Selected pest organisms that can make suitable topics for this assignment are given below. The list is not exhaustive.  If you wish to work on a different pest, you must consult the unit coordinator to ensure it is suitable for the topic. We will consider suggestions from you, but the main criterion will be whether you can find enough ecologically oriented reference material for it.

5. We encourage collaboration, including discussion and the sharing of references, between students doing the same pest. However, the assignment that is finally submitted must be identifiably an individual effort. Plagiarism will be picked up through e submission and the originality detection tool TurnItIn.  So do not copy from previous or current assignments.

6. Please make yourself aware of the student coursework plagiarism and misconduct policy on the UNE website.


Your essay should be structured according to the following outline. Please use headings! (although you may simplify them from those given below).

Title; your name

1.   Introduction

2.   Review of life history and ecology of pest organism

3.   Influence of life history and ecology of the pest on possible management approach

4.   Conclusion

5.   References

Assessment Criteria:

(1)     presentation and adherence to the above structure (10%)

(2)     relevant details in section 2 (40%)

(3)     quality and depth of discussion in section 3 (30%)

(4)     extent and depth of research from outside scientific sources (20%)

Your assignment should go through several drafts before the final product is completed. Make sure you answer the question!

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