Course Description

Course Name

Freshwater Ecology

Session: VSJF1121

Hours & Credits

60 Contact Hours

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


Water is a vital resource for human beings, but it is a limited resource that have been degraded and the demand for this resource is growing. Freshwater ecology or limnology is a course to help us understand the physical, chemical and biological properti
es of inland aquatic environments (wetlands, lakes, rivers, mangroves, and reservoirs). It aims to give emphasis to the problems and conservation efforts for water resources, for that we will learn methods for monitoring aquatic environments with field trips and laboratory work.

1.Learn the main chemical, biochemical and physical process that occur in the aquatic environments
2.Learn the characteristics of the main tropical freshwater ecosystems
3.Learn the main adaptations of the organisms in the aquatic environment
4.Learn about the interactions between organisms in aquatic environments
5.Learn methods for monitoring aquatic environments
6.Recognize the main problems affecting the aquatic environments
7.Recognize the main solutions to increase water quality

ContentsUnit 1. Introduction to the aquatic environment
1.1 Introduction
1.2 Definition of limnology
1.3 Ecosystems included in the course
1.4 Main and important definitions
1.5 Importance of the aquatic environment

Unit 2. Physical and chemical water properties
2.1 Color
2.2 Temperature
2.3 Sedimentation
2.4 Water density and viscosity
2.5 Surface tension
2.6 The water molecule
2.7 Oxygen and CO2 in the water
2.8 pH
2.9 Methods to measure the physical and chemical water properties

Unit 3. Water as an ecosystem
3.1 Photosynthesis
3.2 Respiration
3.3 Autotrophs
3.4 Nutrients
3.5 Heterotrophs.
3.6 Symbiosis
3.7 Ecological succession.
3.8 Nitrogen cycle
3.9 Definitions of main communities in the aquatic environments

Unit 4. Wetlands
4.1 Definition
4.2 Characeristics
4.3 Ramsar convention
4.4 Threats
4.5 Conservation and restoration

Unit 5. Lakes
5.1 Classification of lakes according with the origin
5.2 Lakes' zones
5.3 Lakes' communities
5.4 Adaptation of organisms to lentic environments
5.5 Parameter to study lakes
5.6 Thermal stratification
5.7 Productivity
5.8 Eutrophication
Unit 6. Rivers
6.1 Rivers' origins
6.2 Currents classification
6.3 Movement
6.4 Parameter to study lakes
6.5 Season changins
6.6 Rivers' communities
6.7 Adaptation of organisms to lotic environments
6.8 Aquatic macroinvertebrates in streams

Unit 7. Mangroves
7.1 Definition
7.2 Classification
7.3 Salinity
7.4 Productivity
7.5 Communities
7.6 Importance

Unit 8. Reservoirs
8.1 Characteristicas
8.2 Classifications
8.3 Importance

Student's attendance to every class is mandatory. If a student gets sick or has some other important problem, he/she has to bring a document justifying their absence. After 2 justified absences, students will fail the course.
If you miss more than one day of class in a given month, YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE CREDIT for that particular course.
Professors have the right to expel a student from the classroom should he / she:
1) be improperly dressed
2) be under the influence of alcohol or even smell like alcohol
3) Behave in a disrespectful way.

If you tend to be late for class, you will lose 25% of your total grade.

The classes are present with plenty of visual images and examples in power point presentations. Some classes are
complemented with movies as
well. Students should participate in class reading discussions in order to have a
better comprehension of the theory.
Laboratory session and field trips are part of the class.

Evaluation systemTheory
Individual presentation 15%
Class Participation (discussions, homeworks) 15%
Midterm Tests 15%
Final Test 15%

Lab reports 15%
Group project 15%
Field trip participation 10%

*Course content subject to change