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Ecosystèmes aquatiques: fonctionnement et paramètres de qualité de l'eau

academic year

Course teacher(s)

Nathalie GYPENS (Coordinator) and Isabelle GEORGE

ECTS credits


Language(s) of instruction


Course content

Identification and description of key functional groups determining the structure and functioning of aquatic ecosystems. Establishment of links between functional diversity, ecosystem productivity, biogeochemical cycles and resistance to disturbance. The course includes a description of modern quantitative methods for the assessment of aquatic ecosystem structure and function and is illustrated by a seasonal field study of a pond.

Objectives (and/or specific learning outcomes)

Study of structuring mechanisms of aquatic ecosystems, the response to natural and anthropogenic (climate, eutrophication, overfishing) changes and the consequences for biological resource, biogeochemical cycles and the climate.

The course covers freshwater, estuarine, marine and ice-covered systems and takes an hollistical and mechanistical approach. Students are expected to be able of using their fundamentals in chemistry, biology, physics and microbiology to address and resolve modern questions of aquatic ecology

Prerequisites and Corequisites

Courses requiring this course

Teaching methods and learning activities

Theoretical lessons illustrated by a field study and laboratory chemical, microscopical and biological analysis. Three samplings are organized on site to cover the winter-spring transition. Samples are analysed in the home laboratory. All data are joint and discussed during a seminar. The report is due for May 31

References, bibliography, and recommended reading

The course integrates recent publications and references are suggested to the students and are available as pdf on request.

Other information




Method(s) of evaluation

  • Other


Assessment is based on student skills to address and resolve specific ecological questions making use of theoretical principles

Mark calculation method (including weighting of intermediary marks)

Average of 3 notes: field and laboratory skills; written report; oral examination

Language(s) of evaluation

  • french