The course "Wetland Ecology"

Dr. Tomáš Picek (University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic), Dr. Martin Werth (Ulm University, Germany), Prof. Dr. Marian Kazda (Ulm University, Germany)

The course focuses on all important aspects of wetland ecology – wetland types, biogeochemistry, biology and biodiversity, wetland management, destruction, conservation and restoration and use of wetlands by human (ecological engineering - constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment, etc.). It is organised by Dr. Tomáš Picek from the University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice, Czech Republic in cooperation with the research group of Prof. Dr. Marian Kazda from Ulm University. The course is linked to current research projects at the Institute of Systematic Botany and Ecology and it is supported by the “UULM PRO MINT & MED” Programme. It is offered as a three week block course, usually in March and April every year. The course took place for the first time in 2013 and it is still planned for the year 2016. The number of students attending the course is usually in the range of six to eight.

The practical part of the course is running in laboratories, in the glasshouse of the botanical garden at Ulm University and in the field. It includes field measurements of greenhouse gas emissions from various types of wetlands, measurement of important physico-chemical parameters of wetland soil and water, sampling of soil and water and its later analysis in the lab, and ecophysiological parameters of wetland plants. In the laboratory the students do microscoping of typical wetland plants and peat mosses, learn determination of peat mosses species, measure oxygen transport to soil and to roots of wetland plants, analyse wetland soils and plants for carbon and nutrient contents, etc. There are some excursions to interesting wetland sites around Ulm and in the year 2014 a six-day excursion was organized later in June to pristine, drained, restored, human affected, protected wetland sites in Austria and the Czech Republic. In the seminars the students prepare presentations about some important and interesting topics on wetland problematic (wetland protection, management, construction and restoration, effect of wetlands on global climate, etc.) and these topics are then discussed in the whole group. The course is finished by an exam. The students obtain 9 ECTS for the whole course.

A German web article about this course can be found here.



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