Students who use this as the starting course in the master programme will follow an introduction to master studies. This module runs as afternoon seminars during the whole course.

Limnology is the ecology of inland waters. We all depend on fresh water, for drinking, fishing and recreation. Aquatic ecosystems further play an important role in the global carbon cycling, and thus potentially bear a great impact on our future climate. Due to the new European directives for water quality, water conservation and management issues are currently in focus and highly topical. Hence, the Limnology I course provides a good platform for anyone with an eager interest in nature conservation but also presents a good background for further studies in the applied fields of ecology (Applied ecosystems ecology). Also, the course represents a step towards further in-depth studies of aquatic ecosystems (Aquatic ecosystems), possible master theses and lastly towards a career in research or in applied environmental fields.

The course deals with the structure and function of aquatic systems, including physical and chemical conditions, as well as the organisms and their interactions and role in ecosystems. Different types of ecosystems will be studied, such as nutrient poor forest lakes, low land lakes and running waters, including different habitats such as litoral zones, sediments and the open water mass. The organisms of study include phyto- and zooplankton, bacteria, fish and benthic fauna. The course further gives an overview of problems in aquatic environments, such as eutrophication and acidification as well as effects caused by a changing climate.

Besides providing knowledge about the ecological processes, the course gives knowledge about quantitatively important organisms as well as character species in different types of aquatic systems. We will also discuss the seasonal variation of organisms and its regulating factors, as well as microbial limnology and the role of bacteria in the cycles of important elements.

The whole content of the course is synthesised during a terminal field course at the nutrient rich Lake Erken. For about a week we train sampling and analytical methods, to work independently and in a group, and to present material both in written and oral form.

From 2010 we have new course literature: Likens (Ed). 2009. Encyclopedia of Inland waters. Academic Press Inc.

The book is available in electronic format for registered students. 

For more information, please contact:
Eva Lindström (eva.lindstrom@ebc.uu.se)