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Ecology of Subterranean Habitats

Code: 44560
ECTS: 4.0
Lecturers in charge: prof. dr. sc. Sanja Gottstein
Lecturers: prof. dr. sc. Sanja Gottstein - Practicum
Take exam: Studomat
English level:


All teaching activities will be held in Croatian. However, foreign students in mixed groups will have the opportunity to attend additional office hours with the lecturer and teaching assistants in English to help master the course materials. Additionally, the lecturer will refer foreign students to the corresponding literature in English, as well as give them the possibility of taking the associated exams in English.

1. komponenta

Lecture typeTotal
Lectures 30
Practicum 15
* Load is given in academic hour (1 academic hour = 45 minutes)

1. describing the basic principles of subterranean ecosystem ecology
2. determining physical resources and explaining the relationship between wildlife resources and the physical environment
3. recording and explaining species interactions
4. describing factors effecting animal colonisation and speciation in subterranean environment
5. using diagnostic features to classify subterranean habitats and communities
6. data analysing in ecology

LECTURES (30 hours):
1. Introductory lecture: the content and aim of the course, the principles of assessment and work, students' competence, the creation of working groups, the division of duties and working materials, a literature review of studies of subterranean ecosystems; (2 hours)
2. Subterranean world: concepts of subterranean ecosystems and biom; (2 hours)
3. The functioning of subterranean aquatic ecosystems: karst and alluvial aquifers; (2 hours)
4. A classification of terrestrial subterranean habitats; (2 hours)
5. A classification of aquatic subterranean habitats; (2 hours)
6. A classification of subterranean fauna; (2 hours)
7. Adaptations to life in subterranean environment; (2 hours)
8. Origin, colonisation and speciation of subterranean organisms; (2 hours)
9. Food webs and energy flow in subterranean ecosystems and biom; (2 hours)
10. Taxonomic overview of obligate subterranean species; (2 hours)
11. Community structure and dynamic in subterranean environment; (2 hours)
12. Diversity and biogeography of subterranean fauna; (2 hours)
13. Sampling methods for subterranean organisms; (2 hours)
14. Principles of conservation biology in research of subterranean environment; (2 hours)
15. Types of threats and mechanisms for the protection of groundwater ecosystems. (2 hours)

EXERCISES (15 hours):
1. FILEDWORK: Medvednica Mt.: Ponikve - Gornji Stenjevec (spring Jambrišakovo vrelo, cave Veternica, spring Dubravica): sampling procedure on ecotonal habitats, crenon, epikarstic zone, cave habitats, and hyporeic (6 hours);
2. FILEDWORK: Podsusedsko Dolje - crenobiology on thermal springs, sampling procedure in freatic zone (4 hours);
3. Laboratory analysis of samples from hyporeic zone (1 hour);
4. Laboratory analysis of sample from crenon (1 hour);
5. Affinity analysis: crustaceans in anchialine caves (1 hour);
6. Life history analysis: laboratory observations of the life history traits of the genus Niphargus (1 hour);
7. Life history analysis: presentation of results using Microsoft Excell (1 hour).
  1. Gottstein Matočec, S. (ur.), Ozimec, R., Jalžić, B., Kerovec, M., Bakran-Petricioli, T. 2002. Raznolikost i ugroženost podzemne faune Hrvatske. Ministarstvo zaštite okoliša i prostornog uređenja, Zagreb, str. 1-82.
    Gottstein Matočec, S. (ur.), Bakran-Petricioli, T., Bedek, J., Bukovec, D., Buzjak, S., Franičević, M., Jalžić, B., Kerovec, M., Kletečki, E., Kralj, J., Kružić, P., Kučinić, M., Kuhta, M., Matočec, N., Ozimec, R., Rađa, T., Štamol, V., Ternjej, I. & N. Tvrtković 2002. An overview of the cave and interstitial biota of Croatia. Natura Croatica 11 (Suppl. 1): 1-112.
  2. Camacho, A. I. (ur.) 1992. The Natural History of Biospeleology. Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, Madrid, str. 1- 680.
    Gibert, J., Danielopol, D. L., Stanford, J. A. (ur.) 1994. Groundwater Ecology. Academic Press, San Diego, str. 1-571.
    Gibert, J., Mathieu, J., Fournier, F. (ur.) 1997. Groundwater/Surface Water Ecotones: Biological and Hydrological Interactions and Management Options. International Hydrology Series, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, str. 1-246.
    Stoch, F. (ur.) Caves and karstic phenomena. Life in the subterranean world. Italian Ministry of the Environment and Territory Protection, Udine, str. 1-159.
    Watson, J., Hamilton-Smith, E., Gillieson, D., Kiernan, K. 1997. Guidelines for cave and karst protection. IUCN, The World Conservation Union, Gland, str. 1-63.
    Wilkens, H., Culver, D. C., Humphreys, W. F. (ur.) 2000. Subterranean Ecosystems. Ecosystems of the World 30. Elsevier, Amsterdam, str. 1-791.
2. semester
Izborni predmeti - Regular study - Ecology and Nature Preservation
Consultations schedule: