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Freshwater Plankton

Code: 44562
ECTS: 5.0
Lecturers in charge: prof. dr. sc. Maria Špoljar
prof. dr. sc. Marija Gligora Udovič
Lecturers: prof. dr. sc. Marija Gligora Udovič - Practicum
prof. dr. sc. Maria Špoljar - Practicum
Ines Tkalčec , mag. educ. biol. et chem. - Practicum
Take exam: Studomat
English level:


In agreement with the students enrolled in the course, the lecturer will provide as many teaching elements in English as possible, or in both English and Croatian for mixed groups (i.e., bilingual teaching materials and bilingual exams). Level 2 also includes additional individual consultations with foreign students (as in Level 1) for the teaching elements which will be held in Croatian.

1. komponenta

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

1. Explain the distribution of abiotic and biotic factors in shallow and deep lakes.
2. Apply appropriate plankton research methods in the field and in the laboratory.
3. Explain the results of research or experiment to assess trophic/saprobic degree of aquatic ecosystems, seasonal dynamics of plankton and its role in food chains in aquatic ecosystems.
4. Process the results of abiotic and biotic interactions in the appropriate computer programs.
5. Suggest possible measures to reduce eutrophication in standing water.


1. LECTURE Methods in plankton research (sampling, preservation), methods of processing and analyzing the collected material.
2-3. LECTURE Ecological conditions, abiotic and biotic factors determinants of the composition and spatial distribution of plankton (temperature, light, chemical stratification, food resources, competition, predatory pressure) in shallow and deep lakes.
4-5. LECTURE Nutrients cycle, photosynthesis, primary production, secondary production. Eutrophication.
6. LECTURE The diversity, abundance, biomass, seasonal dynamics of plankton.
7. LECTURE The ratio of production and biomass, size structure and specificity of spatial and seasonal assemblage.
8-9. LECTURE Algae as indicators of degree of trophy/saprobity.
10. LECTURE Determinants of zooplankton abundance, biomass and diversity: Protozoa, Rotifera, Crustacea. Zooplankton as indicator od environmental changes.
11. LECTURE Long-term changes in the diversity, abundance and biomass of plankton.
12. LECTURE Food resources. Trophic groups in zooplankton: microfilter- and macrofilter-feeders, predators.
13. LECTURE Bottom-up and top-down regulation in plankton.
14. LECTURE Horizontal and vertical distribution, day-night migration of plankton
15. LECTURE Laboratory studies of plankton (N: P ratio, P: B ratio, growth rate, filtration and ingestion)


1-2. Fieldwork: collecting plankton samples at various locations, introduction to the work of measuring instruments and measurement of basic abiotic and morphometric features of stagnant waters.
2-3. Analysis of nutrients and food resources.
4-7. Processing, qualitative and quantitative analysis of samples of phytoplankton, the distribution of the indicator groups.
8-11. Processing, qualitative and quantitative analysis of zooplankton samples, the distribution of the functional groups and trophic indicator values.
12-15. Final work: writing data, analysis of the chemical and biocenological data with application of computer programs.
  1. Sommer, U. (1992): Plankton Ecology. Succession in Plankton Communities. Springer Verlag, Berlin
  2. Kalff, J. (2002): Limnology. Prentice-Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.
  3. Suthers, M.I & D. Rissik (2009): Plankton: a guide to their ecology and monitoring for water quality / editors, Iain M. Suthers, David Rissik.. Collingwood, Vic. : CSIRO Publishing, Australia.
  4. Špoljar, M., Plenković-Moraj, A. (2013). Plankton slatkihvoda, PMF. Prezentacije predavanja i praktikuma na internetskim stranicama Biološkog odsjeka.
  5. Wetzel, R. G., Likens, G. E. (2000): Limnological Analyses. Springer, New York
  6. Laybourn-Parry, J. (1992): Protozoan Plankton Ecology. Chapmann & Hall, London
  7. Izbor iz limnoloških časopisa i internetskih stranica
2. semester
Izborni predmeti - Regular study - Ecology and Nature Preservation
Consultations schedule:
  • prof. dr. sc. Maria Špoljar:

    During working time and by e-mail.

  • prof. dr. sc. Maria Špoljar:

    During working time and by e-mail.