Fall 2021 - BISC 414 D100

Limnology (3)

Class Number: 1639

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We, Fr 9:30 AM – 10:20 AM

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 14, 2021
    8:30 AM – 11:30 AM
    SSCC 9000, 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:  Normally would be two one-hour lectures and one four-hour laboratory session per week.  This year, lectures and labs will be available asynchronously by remote delivery, along with two one-hour synchronous time slots per week scheduled for live discussion of course lectures and one two-hour synchronous time slot for live discussion of lab material.  There will be no laboratory work 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
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 Assignments: 25%
  • Term Paper/Project: 25%
  • Presentation of Paper/Project Progress (3-min thesis): 10%
  • Final Examination: 40%


Effective immediately, the Department of Biological Sciences is adopting a mandatory mask policy for all areas under Biology’s control and in spaces elsewhere where Biology faculty teach, applying to everyone regardless of vaccination status.



Custom Courseware Package. 2021.  Readings in Limnology.  SFU Bookstore.

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

Wetzel and Likens (2000) is available as an eBook.  Additional readings drawn from the research literature and "classic texts" will be assigned through the term.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2021 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with approximately 70 to 80 per cent of classes in person/on campus, with safety plans in place.  Whether your course will be in-person or through remote methods will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the fall 2021 term.