Syllabus for Applied Ecosystem Ecology

Tillämpad ekosystemekologi

A revised version of the syllabus is available.


  • 15 credits
  • Course code: 1BG305
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Biology A1N
  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
  • Established: 2007-03-15
  • Established by:
  • Revised: 2020-02-13
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: Autumn 2020
  • Entry requirements:

    120 credits including (1) 60 credits in biology and 30 credits in chemistry or 30 credits in earth science, or (2) 90 credits in biology, in both cases, including a second course of 15 credits in ecology or limnology.

  • Responsible department: Biology Education Centre

Learning outcomes

The course builds further on the students' knowledge and experiences from earlier courses in ecology or limnology and aims at communicating an independent and source-critical working method for a future career in research or as professionals within the society, with sustainable development as the general aim.

On completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • explain overall structure and function of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems and interactions between them from a catchment perspective, and motivate the use of catchments as a the basis for nature conservation, environmental protection and other planning purposes in society
  • describe and apply the EU Water Framework Directive and generally know how water issues are handled also outside Europe
  • handle GPS equipment and geographic information systems (GIS)
  • independently plan, motivate and carry out sampling and analysis for monitoring of water quality in a catchment, and evaluate the result
  • explain and distinguish between different forms of anthropogenic influence on aquatic systems and use this in evaluations of nature values and damages on lakes and watercourses
  • critically review and communicate theories, complex problems and research results
  • identify and discuss aspects related to environmental ethics.


Applied ecosystem ecology, theory and practice

The course handles catchment areas from an integrated ecosystem perspective.The following parts are included:

  • The hydrological cycling and water as carrier of different substances
  • Definition and identification of catchment areas from map material and in field
  • Flow analyses of different substances in catchment areas
  • The structure and function of different catchment ecosystems, interactions between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems
  • Anthropogenically influenced versus natural systems. Effects of different land use on hydrological, chemical and biological processes in soil and water
  • Anthropogenic threats to aquatic ecosystems, in the form of hydromorphological changes (construction of dams and dikes,drainage of land), pollution (eutrophication, acidification, dangerous substances), introduction of non-native species and exploitation of species populations.
  • Case studies for assessing Natura 2000 object

GIS training

Practical training in handling GIS software, to a large extent integrated in other parts of the course. An individual GIS project is also included.

Literature seminar; Water management

from Swedish, European and international perspective.


The teaching is given as lectures, seminars, computer exercises, laboratory sessions, field exercises and group assignments. Participation in seminars, computer exercises, laboratory sessions, field exercises and group assignments are compulsory. Integrated communication training with feedback and self evaluation is included in the course.



Module 1, Applied ecosystem ecology, theory and practice 8 credits; Module 2, GIS training 5 credits; Module 3, Literature seminar 2 credits

Examination of Module 1 is continuously performed during the course through written reports, oral presentations and/or seminars.

Examination of Module 2 is made by written assignments and by individual tasks where the students produce and present an assignment where a GIS map is included.

Module 3 requires active participation in the seminar, with associated individual preparations.

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the disability coordinator of the university.

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: Autumn 2020

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.

Last modified: 2022-04-26