Ecology: Concepts & Environmental Applications of Limnology, 2nd
ed. by W. Dodds and W. Whiles.
Chapter 1: Why Study
Continental Aquatic Systems?
Why is freshwater a comparatively scarce commodity?
Briefly summarize the contributions of G. Evelyn Hutchinson
Have a general notion of where the freshwater in the world is
located, relative amounts in each place, and residence time
in those compartments.
Have a general understanding of the global hydrologic cycle.
Distinguish between consumptive and
non-consumptive uses of water.
Which sectors of water users are dominant?
What is an aquifer? What is water ‘mining’?
What are some of the ecosystems goods and services
provided by water?
What is the concept of no net loss of wetlands and
why is the mitigation of a lost natural wetland probably not equivalent
to a constructed wetland?
What is the actual value of water? How can it be determined?
What are some potential economic benefits to maintaining water
What are the potential dangers of approaching conservation of
aquatic resources form a purely economic standpoint?
How do the authors think the earth’s warming climate will affect
the quality and quantity of freshwater resources?
Why are most of the world’s major cities located near coasts,
lakes, and rivers?
To whom does freshwater really belong?
Chapter 2. Properties of Water.
1. The descriptors highest, most, and unique are often used to describe
water. Expound on this.
2. To what property does water owe most of its special properties?
3. Some terms: electronegative, polar molecule,
hydrogen bonding, salinity,
4. What is the impact of temperature and salinity on the density of
Peckarsky, B. L. et al. 1990. Freshwater Macroinvertebrates of
Northeastern North America. Comstock Publishing, Ithaca. 442 pp.
Chapter 2. The Orders of Aquatic Insects and Collembola
Be versatile with the Linnaean classification scheme from domain
to species, including common significant suffices (e.g., -idae).
Know the scientific names, properly spelled, for the orders of insects
that contain aquatic or semiaquatic species.
familiar with the life history patterns that correspond to the terms
ametabolous, hemimetabolous, paurometabolous, and
holometabolous. Be able to give an example of an aquatic order for
each of these categories.
Distinguish between lotic and lentic habitats.
Give an example of an insect belonging to the following guilds:
shredder, collector, grazer, piercer, engulfer, etc.
Discuss the various methods aquatic insects use to obtain oxygen;
generally, how do lotic and lentic species differ in their techniques? (trachea,
spiracles, bubbles, cutaneous, etc.
What is the standard preservation method for most aquatic insects?
What are the three major body segments of an idealized insect?
Chapter 3. Semiaquatic: Collembola
1. Briefly describe
anatomical structures unique to collembolans.
2. Common species:
Podura aquatica and
Chapter 4. Ephemeroptera
does the root ‘ephemera’ indicate?
Briefly describe the life history of a mayfly.
which stage do mayflies typically overwinter?
Distinguish between univoltine and multivoltine reproductive
Mayflies have vestigial mouthparts; what does this indicate?
does the subimago (dun) stage make mayflies unique?
is the Lake Erie species whose demise contributed significantly to the
extinction of Blue Pike?
many posterior appendages (cerci) do almost all mayflies have?
are the feeding habits of mayflies?
Distal vs. proximal…are tarsal claws distal/proximal to the
11. Suggest a
function for mass emergences.
12. Describe the role mayflies play in lake and stream ecosystems.
Chapter 5. Odonata
Give three characteristics to distinguish the Anisoptera
from the Zygoptera.
Why do odonates often fly in tandem?
What is the ‘wheel’ position?
Characterize the food and feeding style of odonates.
How many abdominal segments do all odonates have?
Chapter 6. Plecoptera
what habitat are stoneflies most commonly found?
are winter stoneflies anomalous?
many tarsal claws are found on stoneflies?
many cerci are found on stoneflies?
is the drift community?
Chapter 7. Aquatic and Semiaquatic Hemiptera
is the only truly marine insect?
two species that are epineustonic.
Because of their mouthparts, what is the feeding style of almost all
Chapter 8. Trichoptera
Discuss casebuilding by certain groups of caddisflies
Chapter 9. Aquatic Lepidoptera
is a proleg?
much more to say here…
Chapter 10. Coleoptera
Largest order of insects.
Describe wing configuration: elytra and hindwing
is the name of the larval stage?
Chapter 11. Megaloptera.
is the common name(s) of the larva?
is the common feeding method?
Chapter 12. Neuroptera
is their feeding method? Are they predators or parasites on their hosts?
they host specific?
Chapter 13. Aquatic Diptera
Important groups: midges (Chironomidae), crane flies (Tipulidae),
mosquitoes (Culicidae), black flies (Simulidae), and horse flies (Tabanidae).
Describe the mosquito life history.
Chapter 3: Movement of Light, Heat, and Chemicals in
Light in Water
Why is light important to aquatic ecosystems?
How do we measure light? Be sure to discuss frequency,
wavelength, relative amount of energy each ‘color’ of light has,
importance (or not) of non-visible ‘colors’.
What are the possible fates of light when it impinges (strikes) a
lake’s surface: reflected, absorbed, scattered.
How and why the spectrum of is light different between
that which reaches the outside atmosphere and that which reaches a
lake’s surface at sea level.
Discuss the impact of ice and snow cover on a lake. Be sure to
include a discussion of winterkill.
Refraction is important to land creatures who look into
the water, but not to organisms that live there full time. Why is this
so? Does this explain why whirlygig beetles have split eyes?
Distinguish between eutrophic, mesotrophic, and
Discuss how to use a Secchi disc. Why did Dr. Skinner
call it a ‘quick and dirty’ way to quickly evaluate some important
characteristics of a lake?
If 100% of light strikes the top of a lake, not all of it reaches
the bottom. Describe possible fates of light in the water column.
Be sure to use terms like attenuation, extinction,
turbidity, and logarithmic.
If 1500 mmol quanta/m2/sec
strikes the top of a lake and 1200 mmol
quanta/m2/sec is present at a depth of one meter, what is the
attenuation (coefficient of extinction,
h) and the percentage
transmission per meter?
As the productivity of a lake increases, what happens to
Allochthonous and autochthonous production
Nanometer (nm), micrometer (mm),
micron, and Angstrom (Å).
Photic zone, aphotic zone, compensation depth
Pure water is crystal clear. So, why do some lakes look blue,
brown, green, or some other color? Be sure to discuss true and
apparent color and what causes these.
The north pole and the equator receive the same number of hours
of daylight but different amounts of quanta in a year. Explain.
What is the impact of attenuation on photosynthetically active
radiation (PAR) received by a plant at 5 m depth in clear water?
Which of the Great Lakes has the highest
Coefficient of extinction
What is the impact of floating aquatic macrophytes on light
levels of the water column below them? (It’s more than just shading.)
What is the importance of light to animals living in lakes?
We’ve been discussing lakes exclusively. How is/isn’t this
discussion relevant to headwater streams, medium size streams
(such as S. Branch Tunkhannock Creek, large streams (Susquehanna River),
vernal pools, swamps and other wetlands?