Aquatic Ecology


To know the main groups of organisms that are part of the aquatic communities and their adaptations to the pelagic and benthic environment. The physical, chemical and biological factors that structure the communities of the aquatic environments. Productivity and seasonal variation. Trophic relationships, competition, predation and recruitment.

To understand the functioning of ecological systems 

1) freshwaters: rivers lakes and reservoirs, 2) transition waters and oceans: estuaries, coastal zones and the open ocean, 3) Wetlands

Recognize the importance of aquatic ecosystems and of their conservation and the actual state of disturbance at the global level, understand the threats which pend upon them and future tendencies.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Marta Susana Silvestre Gouveia Martins


Weekly - 4

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





Allan, J.D. e M.M. Castillo (2008). Stream EcologyStructure and Function ofRunning Waters, 2nd ed. Springer. Cushing, C.E. e J.D. Allan, 2001. StreamsTheir Ecology and LifeAcademicPress, San Diego. Closs, G., B. Downes, e A. Boulton, 2004. Freshwater Ecology: a ScientificIntroductionBlackwell Publishing, Oxford.  Dobson, M. e Frid, C., 2009.  Ecology of aquatic systems. OUP, Oxford. Dodds, W.K., 2010. Freshwater EcologyConcepts and EnvironmentalApplications, 2nd ed. Academic Press, San Diego  Baiser, M., 2005. Marine Ecology: processes systems and impacts. Oxford University Press, Oxford Levinton, J. 2009. 

Teaching method

Available soon

Evaluation method

Available soon

Subject matter

Aquatic ecosystems. Global importance and services.

The aquatic environment. Physics and chemistry of water. Hydrodynamics, salinity, temperature, light and nutrients. Biogenic sediments.

Pelagic communities. Adaptation to life in water. Phytoplankton, zooplankton and nekton.

Benthic communities.

Marine communities and sedimentary processes.

Periphyton and macrophytes. Macroinvertebrates.

Aquatic ecosystems. Rivers, lakes and reservoirs. Estuaries, rocky and soft-bottom shores, coral reefs, the open ocean. Wetlands, temporary streams and ponds, hydrothermal vents, salt lakes, artificial systems.

Impacts and sustainability. Present situation and trends.

Marine Protected Areas and conservation of aquatic ecosystems.


Programs where the course is taught: