OPTION COURSE GEOGG074 - LAKES (15 credits)
(15 credits; Term 2)
Helen Bennion, Ewan Shilland, Richard Taylor, Rick Battarbee, Ian Patmore, Helen Greaves, Suzanne McGowan (Nottingham University), Genevieve Madgwick (Natural England), John Anderson (Loughborough University)
- to provide an introduction to lakes and ponds and their catchments
- to provide an understanding of ecosystem structure and function in lakes and ponds
- to highlight key approaches in the management and conservation of lakes and ponds and the legislative drivers that underpin this work.
This course aims to develop a holistic understanding of lakes and ponds and their place in the landscape. Different lake and pond types and key environmental gradients are introduced. The focus then shifts to the nature of lake–catchment systems. Hydrological and physical physico-chemical processes and the effects of geographical, geological and climate settings on these are covered. The structure and functioning of biological communities within lake systems and the natural and anthropogenic stresses affecting these are described, and the importance of lake–catchment systems to conservation and management is explored. A field class introduces sampling in lakes and practical classes provide taxonomic and numerical analysis skills.
For MSc Conservation students the course provides a good introduction to aquatic conservation issues (based on feedback from 2010-2011 that we should advertise this fact to MSc Conservation students).
The following specific topics are covered:
- Introduction to lakes and ponds and their different origins
- Lake-catchment interactions
- Hydrological and physical processes
- Lake chemistry
- Primary production and food-webs
- Ponds ecosystems and their conservation
- Disturbance of lake-catchment systems, conservation, restoration and management
Site review and management plan for a case study lake (worth 8% of total assessment)
The course is based upon lectures, seminars, practical classes and fieldwork
At the end of the course the student should:
- understand the diverse nature of lakes and pond ecosystems
- be able to conceptualise the integrated nature of lake – catchment systems and
- appreciate the interrelationships between hydrological, physical and chemical processes operating within the lake – catchment systems.
- understand the nature of ecosystem structure and function in lakes and ponds
- have a good knowledge of practical lake sampling approaches and numerical analysis techniques that can be used to classify lakes for conservation purposes
- have an awareness of the problems posed by human impacts on lakes and ponds and how these can be addressed by conservation and management approaches