An examination of physical, chemical, and biological characteristics and processes of tropical ecosystems. Lectures and discussions focus on ecological interactions within tropical communities, characteristics unique to tropical ecosystems, identification of tropical biota, and human impacts on tropical habitats. Laboratory exercises prepare students for field studies to either the Paleotropics (Africa, Asia or Australia) or Neotropics (Central or South America). The study tour trip may occur over the winter, spring or summer break depending on the semester that the course is offered. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 271, BIOL 271L and consent of instructor.