Draft copy 10/22/2014

Riverine Ecology

Spring 2015

WIS 6934 - Section 06CA or WIS 4934 - Section 02E7 or FAS 4932 –Section 144H or FAS 6932 Section 1443

3 Credits

Course meeting time:          Lecture Tuesday and Thursday Period 4 (10:40-11:30 AM)

                                                Lab: Thursday 11:45-6:00 Periods 5-9 (11:45 AM -4:55 PM)


OPTIONAL TEXT: Stream Ecology: Structure and Function of Running Waters  J. D. Allan and M. M Castillo (2nd edition, 1st is fine as well) Springer

REQUIRED READING: Mirage: Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S. Cynthia Barnett, 2007, University of Michigan Press (~$20.00)

INSTRUCTORS OFFICE HOURS: Bill Pine Tuesday 1:00-2:00 (location Campus building 87 "Wetland and Riverine Ecology" building) or by appointment billpine@ufl.edu

Jonathan Freedman Office hours TBD (location 405 McCarty C) jonathanfreedman@ufl.edu

COURSE OBJECTIVES: To become familiar with stream and river ecosystems and the important roles of these ecosystems across the landscape.  To examine the physical, biological, and ecological principles that structure lotic ecosystems with particular attention to assessing human impacts on stream and river ecosystems. We will use a variety of case histories on key river ecosystems in North American including the Apalachicola and Colorado rivers.

CLASS FORMAT: Information will be provided through a combination of lectures, discussions, readings, and labs.  Part of one session each week will generally be devoted to a discussion of natural resource issues in the news.  Labs will expose student to a variety of lotic ecosystems and provide an opportunity to integrate lecture material with field conditions.  Makeup of lectures, labs, assignments missed for legitimate (as identified by UF policy) reasons should be arranged with me.

ATTENDANCE: You are required to attend all lectures and labs.  If you will be away from lecture or lab, arrangements must be made with me beforehand.  Be on time for lecture and lab.

ACADEMIC HONESTY: As a result of completing the registration form at the University of Florida, every student has signed the following statements: “I understand that the University of Florida expects its students to be honest in all their academic work. I agree to adhere to this commitment to academic honesty and to understand that my failure to comply with this commitment may result in disciplinary action up to and including expulsion from the University.”

EXAMINATIONS/GRADING (Draft): There are 600 regular points available in this course distributed as follows.  There will be 2 exams:  Mid-term will be worth 150 points, Final exam 200 points, writing assignments (2) will be worth 100 points each and the lab exercises will be worth a total of 50 points.  Makeup exams for excused absences arranged in advance with the instructor will be scheduled and taken during the final week of classes.  Detailed information regarding the writing and lab assignments will be presented at a later time.

All segments of the course must be completed to earn a final grade.  

Letter Grade

% Of Total Points


97% or 485 points


93% or 465 points


90% or 450 points


87% or 435 points


83% or 415 points


80% or 400 points


77% or 385 points


73% or 365 points


70% or 350 points


67% or 335 points


63% or 315 points


60% or 300 points


<60% or <300 points


STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES: Students requesting classroom accommodation must first register with the Dean of Students Office. The Dean of Students Office will provide documentation to the student who must then provide this documentation to the Instructor when requesting accommodation.

Florida has lots of amazing rivers and streams.

You will get to see a few of these in this class including

neat springs like this






This is a tentative schedule and subject to change, check this page for frequent updates



Lecture Topics


Other info

Lab (Thursday)



Jan 6




Jan 8

Tue: Course introduction

Thur: Water status trends and challenges

Mirage: Prologue, Ch 1, Ch 2, Ch 3


Thur Lab: NO LAB








Jan 13 and 15

Tue: Basic hydrology

Wed: Basic geomorphology

Mirage Ch 4, Ch 5, Ch 6

Ward et al. 2002. Verh Internat. Verein. Limnol. 28:443-450.

Richter et al. 2003 Sustainable water management

Service 2004


Thur. Lab: FL underwater journey, Hike to river rise








Jan 20 and 22

Tue: Abiotic I

Thur: Abiotic II

Mirage Ch 7, Ch8, Ch 9

Canfield and Hoyer 1988 CJFAS 45:1467-1472

 Hoyer et al. 2004 Hydrobiologia 528:31-43

Benke 1984

Natural flow


Thur Lab: NO LAB








Jan 27 and 29

Tue: Begin natural flow paradigm

Thur: Guest Lecture:, 10:00, Cynthia Barnett, Mirage author (tentative)

Mirage Ch 10, Ch 11, Ch 12

Natural Streams 1, 2

Portz and Tyus 2004

Revisit Cadillac Desert


Thur Lab: Ichetucknee River








Feb 3 and 5

Tue: Primary producers and Detrital Energy

Thur: Autochthonous and allochthonous production (alt who cares if the river runs dry)

Jackson et al. 2001 Ecol App 11:1027-1045;

Postel et al. Ecol App 10:941-948

Dodds and Biggs 2002


Thursday Lab: No Lab









Feb 10 and 12

Tues: Trophic relationships and species interactions

Thur: Leave for Okefenokee NWR

McIntosh and Townsend. 1996 Oecologia 108:174-181

Huryn 1998 Oecologia 115:173-183

Fossil Creek


Thur Lab: Suwannee River headwaters Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge




















Feb 17 and 19

Tue: Food webs

Thur: Food webs continued (lessons learned from experimental floods)


Kennedy and Hobbie. 2004. FW Biology 49:65-76

Cole et al. 2006. Ecological Letters 9:558-568

Lewis et al. JNABS 20:241-254

Pace et al. 1999. TREE 14:483-488

Kwak and Waters 1997


Thur: NO LAB








Feb 24 and 26

Tue: Predation

Thur: Exam One

HSS - World is Green

Power et al.

Gilliam and Fraser


Thur Lab: Policy and planning








Mar 3 and 5

Tue:  No class SPRING BREAK

Thur: No class SPRING BREAK











Mar 10 and 12

Tue: RCC















Mar 17 and 19

Tue: Dr. Jim Williams, (tentative) Freshwater mussel biology and zoogeography in the southeastern

Thur: Field trip to Jim Woodruff Dam??

Background info on mussels


Thur Lab: Jim Woodruff Dam field trip








Mar 24 and 26


Thur: SDC, NFP

Vannote et al. 1980. CJFAS 37:130-137

Minshall et al. 1985. CJFAS 42: 1045-1055.

Junk 1989

Junk and Wantzen 2002

Poff et al. 2003 Front Ecol Environ 1:298-306


Thur Lab:  Rainbow River (alt middle Suwannee)









Mar 31 and Apr 2

Tue: NFP

Thur: Leave for Lower Suwannee NWR

Ward and Stanford

Anderson et al. 2004

Poff et al. 1997. BioScience 47:769-787 


Thur Lab: Lower Suwannee River NWR (all day)








Apr 7 and 9

Tue: Fish Habitat

Thur: Fish habitat

Rosenfield TAFS 132:953-968

Benke 1985



Thur Lab: No Lab








Apr 14 and 16

Tue: ACF case history

Thur: ACF vs. water in the west



Thur Lab: ACF case history exercise with Steve Leitman (tentative)








Apr 21 and 23

Tue: AMP

Thur: AMP

AMP papers zip file


Thur Lab: Final Exam


READING ASSIGNMENTS: Readings recommended on each topic should be read prior to class so that the topic can be discussed.


Lab information

Updates on lab activities will be provided during the Tue lecture.  Lab activities are often weather or river stage dependent so we must be flexible in our plans.

What to bring with you in lab:


Field notebook and pencils


Lunch and snacks (coolers provided)



Change of clothes

Swimsuit (depending on activity)



Mask, snorkel, fins (if you have them)

Long socks (for waders)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

The Colorado River flowing through Grand Canyon is one of the most dramatic landscapes on Earth.

But why is the management of the Colorado River so controversial?

Camera (optional)

Waterproof bag (optional)

Field clothes should be worn on field trips.  Each week there is a good chance of getting wet and dirty so plan accordingly with the weather.  Safety is paramount in all field activities.

Labs are designed to both introduce students to a wide range of riverine ecosystems and to explore the use of various sampling methodologies for riverine fish communities.  During each field trip you should take notes on what we are doing, you should also ask yourself the following:

Where are we and why are we here?

Where is the water coming from and where is it going?

What are the dominant physical characteristics (color, vegetation, floodplain, etc.?)

What flora and fauna are visible and what does this tell us?

Policy issues, who uses the water, who regulates the water, who makes decisions about the water?