BIO5210EN - River & Lake Biology

Course description

Although only 1% of the Earth's water is fresh, Freshwater ecology is very fundamental. This course focuses on five aspects of Freshwater ecology.

  1. Fundamentals of the origin and age of rivers and lakes, lake morphometry and river and lake catchment properties.
  2. Focus on the physicochemical parameters of aquatic systems, as well as the underlying concepts.
  3. River and lake biotics, such as phytoplankton, zooplankton, macroinvertebrates, etc, in running and standing waters.
  4. The inter-relationship between both biotic and abiotic aspects of these water bodies; addressed in the context of food web interactions. Emphasis will be laid on shallow lakes and concepts of cascading trophic interactions, alternative stable states, niche shifts, succession, and trophic concepts.
  5. Finally, discussion on the effect of anthropogenic pressure on these systems is made in the light of contamination and eutrophication; Concepts of biomonitoring, restoration, rehabilitation, and biomanipulation are also discussed as part of remediation efforts

How this course benefits students

Students are able to:

  1. form an idea of the diversity of the chemical composition of aquatic ecosystems and of the origin of different classifications
  2. explain the main processes of a lake as an ecosystem as a function of seasonal variations and vertical gradients
  3. place the trophic status of 'stationary waters' in the broader context of their evolution, amongst others

Why this course is important

The link between fresh water and salt sater and ground water highlights the relevance of studying the composition and health of these water bodies.

Credit hours
3 hours
Subject area
Biological Studies
Educational level
Learning type
Upcoming terms
* Schedule subject to change. Please contact the Registrar's office with schedule questions.
Dr. Kris Thoemke, Professor of Marine and Marshland Ecology

How this course relates to missional core values

Interculturally focused

This course attracts every student's efforts towards our Christian obligation to protect our environment

Practically minded

Missionary biologists are to tend and care for all live forms and the environment we live in rather than participate in its degradation.