Syllabus for Applied Ecosystem Ecology

Tillämpad ekosystemekologi


  • 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: 2023-02-08
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: Autumn 2023
  • Entry requirements:

    Completed courses of 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, either of the advanced courses Ecology 15 credits or Limnology 15 credits. Proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 6.

  • 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 conveying an independent and evidence-based working method for a future professional career and in research, with sustainable development as the overarching aim.

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

  • broadly explain structure and function of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems and interactions between them from a catchment perspective, and justify the use of catchments as a basis for nature conservation, environmental protection and management of water resources
  • explain the EU Water Framework Directive, and how water issues are managed also outside Europe
  • handle GPS equipment and geographic information systems (GIS)
  • independently plan, justify 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 cycle and water as carrier of different substances
  • Definition and identification of catchment areas from maps and in the field
  • River ecology
  • Flow analyses of different substances in catchment areas
  • The structure and function of different catchment ecosystems, interactions between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems
  • Analysis of human impact on ecosystems.
  • Effects of different land use on hydrological, chemical and biological processes in soil and water
  • Damages to aquatic ecosystems, in the form of hydromorphological changes, chemical pollution and biological impact.
  • 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.


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 10 credits; Module 2, GIS training 5 credits.

Examination of Module 1 is performed through written reports, oral presentations, active participation in seminars and a written examination.

Examination of Module 2 is made by written assignments and by individual tasks where the student produces and presents an assignment where a GIS map is included.

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 2023

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.

Last modified: 2022-04-26