By the end of the course, the students will acquire: a)knowledge on the structure and function of lake and river ecosystems focusing on hydromorphological, physico-chemical and in particular on biological elements, b)will get familiar with the use of EU Directive (2000/60/EC) for the assessment and monitoring of the ecological quality of surface waters, having as an environmental objective to protect water and achieve good water quality, c) a comprehensive overview of the main threats the inland aquatic ecosystems are facing and the measurements taken for their protection and integrated management, d) the acquisition of competencies in field instrumentation and sampling, e) knowledge on the identification of phytoplankton, zooplankton, benthic macroinvertebrates and fish, f) knowledge on the use of biotic indices and specialized software for statistical analyses (Primer, Canoco), g) the ability to access the online library of Aristotle University and the use of foreign and Greek literature, editing, writing and presenting various relevant to the subject matters individually and / or in groups.
Course Content (Syllabus)
Water (molecular properties, global distribution, hydrological cycle, patterns in hydrology, water bodies), water chemistry (carbon dioxide, major ions, nutrients), water physical characteristics (light), freshwater biota (plant, animals), living in freshwaters (osmoregulation, reproduction, oxygen uptake), patterns in freshwater diversity, headwater streams and rivers (general models of stream ecosystems, flow and discharge, community composition, streams in cold climates and the cold temperate zone, warm temperate streams, the River Continuum Concept), headwater stream and river uses and restoration (eutrophication, pollution, the Water Framework Directive, restoration, rehabilitation), the origin of lake basins, plankton communities of the pelagic zone, standing water uses and restoration (services, fisheries, domestic water supply), dams and reservoirs.
Lab and Fieldwork: Phytoplankton, zooplankton (sampling, identification), macroinvertebrates, fish (identification), biological indices. Sampling for benthic macroinvertebrates and fish in river ecosystems, recording of hydromorphological, physical and chemical characteristics – pressure assessment.