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Freshwater biodiversity

This course is aimed at those who want to learn about species identification and sampling of both large and small plants and animals in our freshwater ecosystems, and how biodiversity data can be used for nature conservation and environmental monitoring. The focus is on practical exercises in species identification. There are also theory lessons where we go into how these species can be used as indicators, and how a species identification is quality assured.

After the course you will be able to identify and name the majority of animals and plants found in Swedish freshwater, such as mussels, frogs, phytoplankton and aquatic plants. You will be able to use identification guides to identify different species, and you will have knowledge of how to identify species using advanced DNA analysis.

You will also gain ecological knowledge, for example an awareness of the types of environment in which different species thrive, as well as which species are advantaged or disadvantaged by various changes in the environment. We will, as much as is possible, visit different aquatic habitats to collect animals and plants ourselves, and practice hands-on species identification with the help of experts. The theory lessons will include group discussions combined with exercises, to ensure both active learning and the chance to develop an expanded network of contacts.

Additional course evaluations for BI1377

Academic year 2020/2021

Freshwater biodiversity (BI1377-10304) 2020-08-31 - 2020-09-29

BI1377 Freshwater biodiversity, 7.5 Credits

Biologisk mångfald i sötvatten

Syllabus approved



Biology Environmental science

Education cycle

Bachelor’s level

Advanced study in the main field

First cycle, entry requirements only from upper secondary school(G1N)

Grading scale

5:Pass with Distinction, 4:Pass with Credit, 3:Pass, U:Fail The requirements for attaining different grades are described in the course assessment criteria which are contained in a supplement to the course syllabus. Current information on assessment criteria shall be made available at the start of the course.



Prior knowledge

Knowledge equivalent to general entry requirements and Biology 2


The course aims to provide knowledge about biodiversity in lakes and rivers, with a focus on taxonomic knowledge and methods for identifying organisms.

After the course the student should:
- be able to identify and name the majority of Swedish freshwater species within groups with relatively few species, such as fish, frogs, reptiles and mussels,
- be able to identify freshwater organisms to genus or other group affiliation relevant to ecological studies in species-rich organism groups such as vascular plants, bottom fauna, phytoplankton, zooplankton, and algae,
- have the skills to use identification literature,
- have knowledge of morphological and molecular methods for biodiversity analysis,
- have knowledge of how biodiversity data can be used in research and environmental analysis, including how it is used in the European Habitats and Water Directives, and the Invasive Alien Species Regulation
- show an understanding of what knowledge is needed to make an expert identification at the species level.


Lectures address the concept of biodiversity, methods for species identification of different organism groups (using morphologically and molecularly based methods) and how biodiversity data are used in research, environmental assessment, nature conservation and water management, including the Habitat and Water Directives, as well as in work with red-listed and invasive species. In exercises, sampling and species identification are practiced using accepted methods adapted for the different organism groups.

Formats and requirements for examination

Passed written examination and approved participation in compulsory exercises.
  • If the student fails a test, the examiner may give the student a supplementary assignment, provided this is possible and there is reason to do so.
  • If the student has been granted special educational support because of a disability, the examiner has the right to offer the student an adapted test, or provide an alternative assessment.
  • If changes are made to this course syllabus, or if the course is closed, SLU shall decide on transitional rules for examination of students admitted under this syllabus but who have not yet passed the course.
  • For the examination of a degree project (independent project), the examiner may also allow the student to add supplemental information after the deadline. For more information on this, please refer to the regulations for education at Bachelor's and Master's level.

Other information

  • The right to take part in teaching and/or supervision only applies to the course date to which the student has been admitted and registered on.
  • If there are special reasons, the student may take part in course components that require compulsory attendance at a later date. For more information on this, please refer to the regulations for education at Bachelor's and Master's level.

Responsible department

Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment

Further information

Determined by: Programnämnden för utbildning inom naturresurser och jordbruk (PN - NJ)
Biology field: Övriga biologikurser
There are no Grading criteria posted for this course

Course facts

The course is offered as an independent course: Yes Tuition fee: Tuition fee only for non-EU/EEA/Switzerland citizens: 19027 SEK Cycle: Bachelor’s level
Subject: Biology Environmental science
Course code: BI1377 Application code: SLU-10310 Location: Uppsala Distance course: No Language: Swedish Responsible department: Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment Pace: 100%