|Module Title||FRESHWATER BIOLOGY FIELD COURSE|
|Co-ordinator||Dr John H R Gee|
|Other staff||Mr Alvin K Jones, Dr Iain Barber, Dr Robert J Wootton|
|Course delivery||Lecture||8 Hours|
A substantial part of the course is devoted to the investigation of the relationships between physical conditions and the distributions of macrophytes and invertebrates along loch shore transects. This involves the use of small boats, employment of simple surveying techniques, sampling by a variety of techniques including an Ekman grab and a pump sampler, and identification of material using 'professional' keys. Students work in groups and prepare a group poster and a reference specimen collection during the course. Poster production involves the use of computers to analyse results and to prepare text and graphics. Peer assessment forms an element of the mark for this part of the course.
Again working in groups, students spend a day working on the open water limnology of the north and south basins of Loch Lomond. Here they prepare depth profiles for temperature, light and dissolved oxygen, taking additional samples by van Dorn sampler for measurement of conductivity, pH, nitrate and phosphate. Phytoplankton samples are collected by a variety of techniques and examined in the laboratory for species composition and biomass estimation by chlorophyll a analysis. Zooplankton composition and abundance is characterized from material collected in simple plankton nets and in a Clarke-Bumpus sampler. This part of the course is assessed on the basis of individually-written reports submitted during the first semester.
Work on lake fishes includes a lecture on fishery assessment and the setting of gill nets in both Loch Lomond and Lochan Dubh. In the laboratory, fishes captured are identified and measured. Ages are determined from scales or opercular bones, and sex, reproductive condition and diet from dissection. Normally, the course includes a day spent at the Institute of Aquaculture, Stirling and at their hatchery and rearing facilities. This part of the course is assessed on the basis of a report submitted at the end of the course.
This module is at CQFW Level 6