EOSC 470 · Biological Oceanography

A quantitative examination of processes regulating the abundance, distribution and production of phytoplankton, zooplankton, microbes and fish. Controls of primary and secondary production, ecosystem dynamics and foodwebs. [3-0-0] Prerequisite: One of EOSC 372, EOSC 373.

Course Availability & Schedule

Instructors

Phillippe Tortell

Lecture Topics

  1. INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW
     
    1. Introduction and Historical Overview-the development of key ideas and innovations in biological oceanography
    2. General Principles and nomenclature
    3. The physical environment-temp., Salinity, mixing, currents and their spatial/temporal variation
    4. The chemical environment: -conservative vs. non-conservative elements and spatial / temporal variation
    5. Eological Geography of the Oceans-abundance and distribution of plankton (spatial and temporal variation)
  2. PRIMARY PRODUCTION - THE FORMATION OF ORGANIC MATTER
    1. Evolution and Genetic/Morphological/Ecological Diversity of Phytoplankton (probably 2 lectures).
    2. Biochemistry of Photosynthesis-light vs. dark reactions, mineral and energy requirements, physiology and biochemistry of C assimilation
    3. Methods of measuring primary production
    4. Novel primary producers (e.g. Chemolithotrophy)
    5. Regulation of P.S. by light
    6. Regulation of P.S. by macronutrients, N vs. P limitation & trace elements (metals)
    7. Phytoplankton competition / succession-the paradox of the plankton
  3. THE CYCLING OF ORGANIC MATTER
    1. Zooplankton diversity (taxonomic and ecological)
    2. Grazing by zooplankton (incl. methods)
    3. Bacteria and DOM cycling / nutrient regeneration
    4. Bacterial diversity
    5. Viruses
    6. Viruses
    7. Particle Export and the Biological Pump
  1. CASE STUDIES IN OCEANOGRAPHY
     
  2. LINKS TO HIGHER TROPHIC LEVELS
     
    1. New vs. Regenerated production
    2. Marine foodwebs
    3. Bottom-up control of fisheries
  3. BIOLOGICAL IMPACTS ON OCEAN GEOCHEMISTRY
     
    1. The Nitrogen Cycle
    2. The Carbon Cycle
    3. Stable Isotopes as biological tracers
    4. Paleooceanographic approaches
    5. The role of the ocean biota in Climate Change
  4. OTHER POSSIBLE TOPICS FOR LECTURE / DISCUSSION:
     
    • Satellite oceanography
    • Ocean management and policy / anthropogenic impacts on the oceans
    • Ocean ecosystem modeling
    • Harmful algal blooms