GEOGG103 Aquatic Macrophytes

Academic Year

Carl Sayer, Ben Goldsmith

Programme Term Running

Available to Affiliate Students

Available to External Students

Brief Course Description
This is a residential field class which is optional. There is a cost to be paid by the student for the accommodation/transport.
Timing: in 2017 the course will run from Sunday 13th May until Friday 18th May (return Friday eve)

Course Aims
- to introduce students to the structure, ecology and identification of aquatic macrophytes
- to provide students with practical skills in the field sampling of aquatic macrophytes

Course Content
This is a residential course (self-catering in a beautiful old cottage) based in rural Dorset during the month of May. The course will be delivered through a combination of lectures (2-3 hours in the mornings for 5 days), fieldwork (late morning to late afternoon) and laboratory sessions (late afternoon and some evenings). Fieldwork will take place in a range of environments including shallow lakes, ponds, rivers, ditches and coastal lagoons. The course will also cover aquatic conservation issues and the general natural history of the area.

The following specific topics are covered:
- structure and ecology of freshwater-brackish aquatic plants
- role of aquatic macrophytes in aquatic ecological functioning
- methods for surveying aquatic macrophytes
- design of sampling programmes for water plants
- taxonomy and identification of aquatic macrophytes
- importance of aquatic macrophytes to conservation and developing water legislation

The course is based upon lectures, fieldwork and practical classes

Form of Assessment
Plant identification exercise (20%)
Essay from a choice of titles (80%)

Learning Outcomes
At the end of the course students should be able to:
- understand the physiology and adaptations of aquatic macrophytes
- appreciate the key ecological structuring role of aquatic macrophytes in aquatic habitats
- understand the importance of macrophytes to lake restoration, management and developing water legislation
- have practical experience of sampling aquatic plants using a variety of tools and recording systems in a range of habitats
- identify aquatic plants (including all key genera in the GB flora) using standard identification guides and keys both in the field and using a low powered microscope
- design sampling programmes for aquatic plants

Last Updated: Wed 22 Mar 2017