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Card-index course

Functional Anatomy of Vascular Plants

Anatomie fonctionnelle et écologie des plantes supérieures

Responsible Faculty: Faculty of Geosciences and Environment (FGSE)

Teacher(s): Pierre Vollenweider
Lecturer(s): -

Validity: 2013 -> 2013

No timetable defined.

Course+Practical work

C = 18, TP = 5dj T = hours per week

Teaching language(s): French
Public: Yes
Credits: 0


The principal objective in this lecture is to develop understanding on how plants cope with environmental constraints. Focusing on the functional dimension of plant structures, students attending the lecture will acquire analytical tools in plant anatomy and ecology and learn about bioindication applications. Much of the material provided is derived from past and ongoing research project performed at the Federal institute for forest, snow and landscape research (WSL) and this lecture will open a window on activities of an important Swiss research centre specialized on environmental issues.


Teaching includes class hours, laboratory training and an excursion during the spring semester.

Lecture chapters:
1. Introduction.
2. Plant cells and environmental constraints.
3. Plant tissues and their contribution to environmental adaptation.
4. Plant roots: from the cell to plant-soil interactions.
5. Ecology and structure:
5.1. Plant structure and the ecological niche.
5.2. Structural changes in response to environmental constraints.
6. Structural responses to stress:
6.1. Visible symptoms and microscopic changes.
6.2. Bioindication on the basis of microscopic markers.
7. Conclusions.

Documents discussed in the lecture, training protocols, research articles and many microscopy micrographs are provided online and in the form of downloadable files during the semester.


The attendance to lecture is validated by providing a sufficient report on observations performed during a selected laboratory training session and extended to the related scientific topic.


Un polycopié sous la forme de chapitres à télécharger est transmis au fur et à mesure pendant le semestre. Les protocoles de TP, des articles de recherches ainsi que de nombreuses micrographies illustrant les principales structures observées sont également mis à disposition en ligne.

Programme requirements

In principle, no previous experience in microscopy is required to attend the lecture. Basics in plant anatomy are shortly recapitulated during class hours and laboratory training sessions.

Canton de Vaud
Swiss University
Unicentre  -  CH-1015 Lausanne  -  Suisse  -  Tél. +41 21 692 11 11  -  Fax  +41 21 692 26 15