701-2437-01L  Limnoecology (incl. two Practical Courses)

SemesterAutumn Semester 2016
LecturersJ. Jokela, P. Spaak, F. Altermatt, T. Gonser, K. J. Räsänen, C. T. Robinson
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish (lecture with exercise), German (practical/laboratory course), German (practical/laboratory course)

AbstractThis course combines Limnology (the study of inland waters in its broad sense) with ecological and evolutionary concepts. It deals with rivers, groundwater and lakes.
This course contains a lecture part, an experimental part, two determination courses (aquatic invertebrates and algae) as well as excursions.
ObjectiveDuring this course you will get an overview of the world's typical continental aquatic ecosystems. After this course you will be able to understand how aquatic organisms have adapted to their habitat, and how the interactions (e.g. food web) between organisms work.
During the experimental part of this course you will learn the principles of doing research to observe interrelations in aquatic ecosystems. You will measure and interpret biological and physical data (e.g. during experiments, field work) and present the collected knowledge.
After this course you will know the most important aquatic species groups (macroinvertebrates, microinvertebrates and cryptogames) in Switzerland and the most important identification traits.
ContentThe course contains a lecture part, an experimental part, two determination courses (aquatic invertebrates and algae) and field excursions.

The lecture part covers ecology and evolution of aquatic organisms in lentic and lotic waters. Topics include: Adaptations, distribution patterns, biotic interactions, and conceptual paradigms in freshwater ecosystems. Important aspects regarding ecosystem metabolism and habitat properties of freshwaters. Applied case studies and experiments testing ecological and evolutionary processes in freshwaters.

Practical part:
The practical part includes excursions to Greifensee, to the river Sense (natural river system) and to the river Töss (groundwater).
Additionally, you will perform in small groups an independent experiment in a research group at Eawag.

The taxonomic part will cover macroinvertebrates (e.g. Crustacean, aquatic insects), microinvertebrates and algae. The goal is to get to know the most common aquatic taxa in Switzerland, to identify them with commonly used identification literature, and to get an idea how these organisms are used in research and practice. (language: German, translation of the most important things during the course possible)
Lecture notesCourse notes and power point presentations provided during the course.
Prerequisites / NoticeThe maximal participating number of biology students is 14.