General knowledge in ecology, basic statistics and zoology
Classes will be taught in intensive format for two weeks with lectures, theoretical and practical sessions, discussions and field trips. The lectures will be made in the form of classic exposition. Students will be organized into groups that will be given a small project on ecology and monitoring rivers, which will have to be presented orally. There will be sessions for paper discussion papers.
The course covers fundamental concepts of ecology of rivers. The course will deal with issues relating to the structure and functioning of riverine systems, the identification of perturbations affecting rivers and ways for monitoring and rehabilitation of watercourses. Students will develop skills to collect, analyze and interpret data, having in mind in an integrated approach on the environmental factors that may affect the composition and distribution of biota. The course emphasizes theoretical and practical ecological principles for protection, management, monitoring, rehabilitation and / or restoration of watercourses.
A. Global water resources.
The water cycle. Classification of running waters. The river basin as management unit.
B. Hydrology and physicochemical characteristics.
Hydrology. Physical characteristics relevant to the biota. Chemical composition of the water and influence on the biota. Physical-chemical parameters in the assessment of water quality.
C. Lotic Communities.
Producers, decomposers and consumers. Trophic relations. Drift.
D. Sources of energy and nutrients.
Production vs. autochthonous allochthonous. Riparian zones. Nutrient cycling and energy transference.
E. Paradigms of lotic systems:
The concepts of River Continuum, Flood-Pulse and Nutrient Spiraling
F. Perturbations, Monitoring and rehabilitations
Human activities affecting rivers. The Water Framework Directive. Bioindicators in ecological assessments. Functional Methods. Predictive models. Recovery, restoration and management of rivers.
G. Key papers on the applicability of acquired information.
Mini Tests: 80.0%
Allan, J.D. & M. Castillo (2007) Stream Ecology. Structure and function of running waters. Springer Publishers. 388 pp.
Key referencerecent papers. New papers every year