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This subject examines theories in the discipline of ecology and biogeography as they pertain to riverine environments, emphasising the use of theory to understand how to solve environmental management problems in river ecosystems. The subject examines the population, community and ecosystem dynamics of rivers, and the geographical distributions and diversities of the organisms that inhabit these ecosystems. Through practicals and fieldwork, students should develop an understanding of the relations between catchment characteristics, the nature of the water body and its associated biota. Students should become aware of the multidisciplinary nature of ecosystem management and the need for critical examination of ideas in the literature.
Intended learning outcomes
Students should be able to:
- understand the principles of ecology and biogeography as they relate to river ecosystems; and
- acquire, analyse and present data relating to catchment characteristics, water quality and quantity, and the biota of river ecosystems;
- understand some principles of flow in open channels;
- understand the processes that determine water quality and quantity and the ecological status of rivers;
- apply basic laboratory, computer and field methods for freshwater ecology.
On completion of this subject students should have developed the following generic skills:
- be able to evaluate and synthesise the research and professional literature in stream ecology and hydrology as they relate to environmental management;
- be able to design, conduct and report on original research based on field and/or laboratory investigation;
- work effectively in projects which require team-work; and
- conduct sample surveys and carry out basic quantification of water quantity and quality
Last updated: 15 February 2024