Oceans occupy 75% of the planet's surface and have the capacity to moderate our climate and supply our food, water and oxygen. The East Australian Current also has a substantial (and unappreciated) effect on our lives. EECO outlines the dominant players and processes in pelagic marine ecosystems, from fine-scale ocean physics, to nutrients, phytoplankton, zooplankton, fish and sharks. We will study estuarine ecosystems, including the effects of catchments and nutrients on hydrography and estuarine habitats. The systematics and ecology of fish in particular, but also sharks and rays will be a feature of the course. The 4 day field trip to Smiths Lake replaces many of the labs later in session. Other topics may include human impacts and possible solutions through engineering of pelagic ecosystems such as bottom-up ecosystem regulation through nutrient supply, or top-down regulation of ecosystems by sharks and other predators; removal of mid-level planktivores, re-stocking of fish; ocean fertilization; carbon sequestration; and artificial reefs.
Assumed knowledge: BIOS2031 and BEES2041
Note: Available to students in Advanced Science- Life Sciences and, subject to the availability of places, to students in BEnvironSci (Biology and Marine) and in 3970 (Biological Science, Ecology, and Biological Oceanography Majors with a credit average or better in BIOS courses). A compulsory field trip will be held during the mid-session break, and will involve personal expense to individual students.
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