Fall 2019 - BISC 414 D100

Limnology (3)

Class Number: 3138

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We, Fr 9:30 AM – 10:20 AM
    AQ 5037, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 6, 2019
    8:30 AM – 11:30 AM
    AQ 3150, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    75 units of credit in a science program, including BISC 204 with a grade of C- or better or GEOG 215, or permission of the instructor.



An integrated examination of biological, chemical and physical processes in lakes and running water ecosystems. Interactions among biological, chemical and physical controls on the structure, function and dynamics of aquatic ecosystems are emphasized. Environmental problems resulting from human disturbances to aquatic ecosystems are examined.


Organization: Two one-hour lectures and one four-hour laboratory session per week. There will be no laboratory session in the first week of classes.

Course Topics:

  • Introduction to aquatic ecosystems 
  • Lake origins and geomorphology 
  • Lake hydrology and water balance 
  • Water, light, and heat 
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Primary production and dissolved gases 
  • Major nutrients
  • Phytoplankton communities
  • Bacteria and microbial communities 
  • Macro-zooplankton communities
  • Fish communities
Cross-Cutting Themes:
  • Comparative and regional limnology
  • Zoobenthos and running-water communities 
  • Eutrophication and acidification of aquatic ecosystems
  • Global change and aquatic ecosystems


  • Laboratory Assignment 25%
  • Term Paper/Project 25%
  • Term Paper Presentation 10%
  • Final Examination 40%


This is a tenative outline. Please email llesack@sfu.ca for more information.



Custom Courseware Package. 2019. Readings in Limnology. SFU Bookstore

Wetzel, R.G., G.E. Likens. 2000. Limnological Analyses, Third Edition. Springer, New York (ISBN - 0387989285).

Additional readings drawn from "classic texts" and the research literature will be assigned through the term.

Registrar Notes:

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