DPP523: Conservation and Management of Fresh Water Ecosystems - Ανοικτό Πανεπιστήμιο Κύπρου - Open University of Cyprus

DPP523: Conservation and Management of Fresh Water Ecosystems

Module Purpose and Objectives 

The purpose of this module is to provide students with solid theoretical and practical foundations in aquatic ecology and aquatic ecosystems so that they acquire the basic knowledge and skills needed to be able to perform management and conservation decision-making for aquatic ecosystems.

The specific objectives of the module are the assessment of the ecological quality and the water management at a river basin level, according to the WFD 2000/60 EU, as well as the promotion of the interdisciplinary approach and the creation of specialized scientific staff who can take up relevant roles in organisations which deal with aquatic ecosystem management.

The learning objective of the module is the theoretical and practical training of students in the approach of monitoring and management of aquatic ecosystems at the river basin level.

In this module, both basic theoretical knowledge (Background-General Knowledge, Science Area and Skills Development) and environmental management tools for aquatic ecosystems such as statistical univariate and multivariate analyses are provided i.e. the implementation of indices for the assessment of the ecological quality of aquatic ecosystems and the riparian zone. The tools presented reflect the up to date European directives and national laws.

The ultimate goal of the module is for students to acquire an ecological and practical understanding on water resources management, which will result in direct and indirect positive implications on environmental protection and the social and economic national development context.

The student who will successfully complete this module should be able to

  • Distinguish between different types of aquatic ecosystems.
  • Collect the necessary data in order to separate modified from reference areas.
  • Implement indicators to monitor the quality of aquatic ecosystems based on biomarkers.
  • Perform univariate and multivariate analyses.


Module Content 

  • Water as a natural resource, water balance
  • Structure and productivity of aquatic ecosystems
  • Abiotic environment-Water Chemistry - inorganic and organic compounds, temperature, oxygen, salinity, inorganic carbon, N, P, Fe, S, Si, cycles
  • Biotic environment- trophic relationships
  • Water Protection:
    1. Convention and protection designations- Ramsar sites, NATURA 2000, Special Protected Areas (SPAs), Sites of Community Interest (SCI)]
    2. European Directives –historical background
    3. Water Framework Directive WFD 2000/60EE – General principles- articles and requirements/obligations
  • Aquatic Ecosystems Typology: Classification systems - Τypes in the Mediterranean and at national level
  • Monitoring and Evaluation Tools for Aquatic Ecosystems: Biological Quality indicators: (phytoplankton, macrophytes, macro-invertebrates, fish) as evaluation indicators of water ecological quality
  • Riparian zone- indicators for quality evaluation of riparian vegetation (RHS, QBR, RQI).
  • Land uses - pressures at the watershed level - impacts - degradation (eutrophication, pollution, landfilling, climate change).
  • Laboratory-Collection and statistical data analysis. Collection of ecological data, control for differences (parametric vs non-parametric tests), testing for relationships (correlation, regression), exploratory data analysis (multivariate statistics), presentation and data interpretation.
  • EU Water Framework Directive WFD 2000/60EE:-Integrated Water resources management at the catchment level, WFD for arid and semi-arid environments - scarce water resources - dams and environment.
  • Integrated Coastal Zone Management.
  • The role of public consultation and education in the decision making process for sustainable water management

Additional Info

  • Κωδικός / Course Code: DPP523
  • ECTS: 10
  • Τρόποι Αξιολόγησης / Assessment:


  • Διάρκεια Φοίτησης/ Length of Study: Εξαμηνιαία (εαρινό)/ Semi-annual (spring)
  • Κόστος/ Tuition Fees: 450 euro
  • Επίπεδο Σπουδών/ Level: Μεταπτυχιακό/ Postgraduate