Lecturers: Stephen Wickham, Ulrike Berninger, Sabine Agatha, Josef Wanzenböck
In this course, you will be performing a mesocosm experiment. The aim is to figure out, if and how a plankton community (unicellular algae and ciliates) changes if the number of trophic levels is successively increased by first adding crustacean zooplankton to the protists and then fish. You will learn to design and conduct a complex manipulative experiment and will employ a number of different methodologies to perform quantitative and qualitative analyses of the various critical parameters (microscopy, automated counting and measurements, protist taxonomy, fish ecology and bioenergetics, statistical analyses). After completion of this course, you will be able to understand, interpret and evaluate the composition and function of aquatic communities and their reaction to the manipulation of selected factors.
Pictures are courtesy of previous course-participants: Dominik Ankel, Maximilian Ganser.