Università degli Studi di Perugia

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Natural and environmental sciences and technologies
Study-unit Code
In all curricula
Massimo Lorenzoni
  • Massimo Lorenzoni - Didattica Ufficiale
  • 42 ore - Didattica Ufficiale - Massimo Lorenzoni
Course Regulation
Coorte 2018
Learning activities
Discipline ecologiche
Type of study-unit
Obbligatorio (Required)
Type of learning activities
Attività formativa monodisciplinare
Language of instruction
This course explores the biological, chemical and physical features of lakes and rivers and it gives a detailed understanding of the ecology of freshwater systems. It aims to develop students' awareness of the principles and concepts of aquatic biology and to provide an overview of the complexities of managing aquatic habitats. The course focuses on the physiological adaptations of organisms in the aquatic environment, mainly on benthic invertebrates and fish. Theoretical approaches and practical techniques will be addressed and the course will cover some aspects of threats to aquatic systems, including pollution and eutrophication control.
Reference texts
Bettinetti R., G. Crosa, S. Galassi. 2007. Ecologia delle acque interne. Edizioni CittàStudi.
Teacher's handouts
Educational objectives
The course aims to introduce the basic concepts of ecology of inland waters by means of both theoretical and practical approach, providing the tools to know the biological populations living in lakes and rivers and to address the nature of the threats to aquatic systems, such as pollution and eutrophication.
General Ecology
Teaching methods
Lectures with practical exercises
Other information
Class attendance is recommended
Learning verification modality
Oral test
Extended program
Introduction to the study of inland waters. Lotic and lentic environments: differences. Ecological value and functions of wetlands.
Differences between terrestrial and aquatic environment. Characteristics of the water molecule. The populations of aquatic environments.
The lakes. Temperature profiles in lakes of the temperate zone. Dissolved oxygen. Curves of dissolved oxygen. The inorganic carbon. The carbonate-bicarbonate buffer system. The phosphorus in aquatic environments. Nitrogen cycle in inland waters.
Classification of aquatic communities. Description of the main groups of phytoplankton. Factors affecting the growth and seasonal succession of phytoplankton. Adaptations to light radiation. Stokes' Law. The paradox of the plankton.
Herbivorous zooplankton: the definition of micro and macro filter feeders. Vertebrate and invertebrate predation on zooplankton. Biotic interactions in the pelagic zone.
Lakes and trophic status. Diffuse and point sources of pollution. Trophic state and nutrient loading criteria. Carlson Index (TSI). OECD Indicators. Use of bioindicators in lentic environments. Water Framework Directive: the Basics.
Eco-technologies for the recovery of the quality of lakes subject to eutrophication and acidification of the water. Removal of macrophytes. Introduction of herbivorous fish species. Handling of food chains. Top-down and bottom-up. Liming.
River ecology. Structural and functional aspects of lotic systems. Autotrophic and heterotrophic. Use of organic matter. Communities of running waters. River zonation. River Continuum Concept. Flood-pulse concept. Nutrient spiraling. Biological monitoring of running waters.
Biodiversity in inland waters. Biological invasions.
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