Coastal ecosystem ecology and functioning

EMBC+ MODULE 1: Understanding the structure and function of Marine Biodiversity
semester: 
3
ects: 
6

This course provides a good background for anyone you want to study benthic ecology in coastal systems and underlines the particularities of the Mediterranean Sea. The major topics of the course include: pelagic primary production, river-sea continuum, sedimentation/resuspension processes, benthic/pelagic ecosystem coupling, sediment-organism interactions, and early diagenesis. Practical works will illustrate the concepts acquired during the course. Current literature will be used to encourage students to integrate lecture topics and achieve a comprehensive understanding of how biogeochemical processes serve to regulate ecosystem function in these diverse habitats. Discussions will also focus on the anthropogenic influence on the estuarine ecosystem. 

keywords: 
FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY, BENTHIC-PELAGIC COUPLING, BIOGEOCHEMISTRY, ORGANISM-SEDIMENT RELATIONS, ECOSYSTEM ENGINEER SPECIES, COASTAL ECOSYSTEMS, HUMAN THREATS
initial: 

Basic knowledge in marine biology and oceanography 

final: 

Students will be formed to marine ecosystem science, linking observations, experiments, and applied modelling. They will also acquire transferable tools such as methods used for the monitoring of the environment (chemical sensors, biochemical analyses). By the end of the course students will know: What are the main processes that govern marine ecosystem functioning in coastal waters; how marine organisms affect these processes; how human activity may impact the functioning of coastal ecosystems; how to study the bentho-pelagic coupling in coastal ecosystems.