Aquatic Plants BIOL 402/632

University of Northern British Columbia

Professor J.D. Ackerman

Click on the following for Information on:

FALL 2002

PROFESSOR:             Dr.  J.D. Ackerman, Newlab 8-143, 960-5839

Laboratory Teaching Assistants: Barbara Prime         960-____,
                                                       Julianne Trelenberg  960-5677,

OFFICE HOURS:    Tuesday 11:00-12:00 & Thursday 14:30 – 15:30; or by appointment

LOCATION:            Library 5-176      Tuesday & Thursday 10:00 – 10:50
                                  New Lab 8-322   Friday   11:30 - 14:20


This course covers the classification, physiology, ecology, and environmental implications of aquatic plants.  Both marine and freshwater systems are covered with an emphasis on the aquatic plants of British Columbia.

1) Student: open mind / willing to discuss and exchange views to participate
                  Academic integrity/offence (see UNBC Calendar)
2) Professor: responsive to students
                  Fair and equitable

PROBLEMS:  See one me or have me recommend someone for you to see.

PREREQUISITE:    BIOL 100 and BIOL 204 (1996/97), or by permission.


COURSE TEXT: Ackerman, J.D. 2002. Readings on Aquatic Plants: UNBC Course Reading Package available for purchase in the bookstore.

RECOMMENDED: See reading list included in Readings Package

LAB MANUAL: To be distributed in lab.

FIELD TRIPS: Appropriate dress for all weather (including rain).

Laboratory:             30%  Lab book and Lab Reports
Midterm Exam:       20%  Includes lab and lecture material.
Term Project:         25%  Research paper/proposal.(Prospectus by Jill Sutton 1998) (Research Proposal by Jill Sutton 1998)
Final Exam:            25%  During final exam period; inclusive.

LATE ASSIGNMENTS: Not accepted without prior arrangement (penalty imposed).


Part I -  Evolutionary Systematics

Sept 3  (lecture 1) Introduction to “Plant” Reproductive Systems
Sept 5  (lecture 2)  Evolutionary Perspectives
Sept 10 (lecture 3) Algae I (unicellular algae and phylogeny)
Sept 12 (lecture 4) Algae II (macroalgae I)
Sept 17 (lecture 5) Bryophytes and Pteridophytes
Sept 19 (lecture 6) Angiosperms I (dicots)
Sept 24 (lecture 7) Angiosperms II (monocots)
Sept 26 (lecture 8) Angiosperms III (seagrasses)
Oct  1  (lecture 9) Overview and perspective

Part II -  Physiological Ecology

Oct  3   (lecture 10) The physical environment (Physico-chemical environments I)
Oct 8    (lecture 11) The chemical environment (Physico-chemical environments II)
Oct 10  (lecture 12) The light environment (Physico-chemical environments III)
Oct 15  (lecture 13) Photopigments and light capture

Oct 17  (lecture 14) Mid term exam

Oct 22  (lecture 15) Inorganic carbon sources and photosynthesis
Oct 24  (lecture 16) Water transport

Part III -  Evolutionary Ecology

Oct 29  (lecture 17) Heterophylly in higher vascular plants
Oct 31  (lecture 18) Form-function relationships in macroalgae
Nov 5   (lecture 19) Root/rhizome systems and vegetative propagation
Nov 7   (lecture 20) Evolutionary ecology of carnivorous plants
Nov 12 (lecture 21) Pollination in aquatic plants
Nov 14 (lecture 22) Dispersal in aquatic plants
Nov 19  (lecture 23) Community structure and evolution in freshwater macrophytes
Nov 21 (lecture 24) Community structure and evolution in marine macrophytes

Part IV - Aquatic Plants and Society

Nov 26 (lecture 25) Exotics and introduced species
Nov 28  (lecture 26) Economic Botany

Lecture Summaries

Please note that the schedule may change.

Laboratory Outline

Laboratory Teaching Assistants: Barbara Prime         960-____,
                                                       Julianne Trelenberg  960-5677,
September 6, 2002    Laboratory 1   Orientation – Safety Requirements
September 13, 2002    Laboratory 2   Field Identification of Aquatic Plants and Habitats
September 20, 2002    Laboratory 3  Field Identification of Aquatic Plants and Habitats
September 27, 2002    Laboratory 4  Field Identification of Aquatic Plants and Habitats
October 4, 2002    Laboratory 5 Laboratory Identification of Key Algal Characteristics
October 11, 2002   Laboratory 6 Laboratory Identification of Key Aquatic Plants
October 18, 2002    Laboratory 7 Photopigment Identification
October 25, 2002   Laboratory 8 Photosynthetic Measurements
November 1, 2002   Laboratory 9  Flow and Plant Canopies
November 8, 2002   Laboratory 10  Root/Shoot Ratios and Bog Plants
November 15, 2002   Laboratory 11  Pollination Mechanisms
November 22, 2002   Laboratory 12  Community Ecology
November 29, 2002   Laboratory 13   Economic & Ethnobotany


  •  Complete and hand in all forms especially if driving to/from sites.
  •  Safety to/from and at the field site are paramount.  Failure to maintain safe conditions is an academic offence and will result in penalty.
  •  Four local field trips are planned during class period.
  • Appropriate all weather field gear (rainwear, boots, hats, gloves, etc.) will be required.




    Assignment # 1:  10 % Labs  2-5  Aquatic Plant Systematics (Report by Laura Genn 1997)
    Assignment # 2:  10% Labs  7-8 Primary Production
    (Assignment # 3:  (10%)  Labs  9  Flow and Aquatic Plant Canopies)
     (This is an optional assignment to replace Assignment #2, but you must hand in Assignment #2)
    Lab Reports  10% Labs 1-13 Laboratory Notebook

    COURSE READINGS: A collection of Articles on the Systematics, Physiology, and Evolutionary Ecology of Aquatic Plants.

    Part I -  Evolutionary Systematics

    Wheeler, W.N. and M. Neushul. 1981. The aquatic environment. pp 229-247 in O.L. Lange, P.S. Nobel, C.B. Osmond, and H.   Ziegler (eds) Physiological Plant Ecology I: Responses to the Physical Environment (Encyclopedia of Plant Physiology New Series 12A). Springer Verlag, Berlin, 625 pp. Graham, L.E., and L.W. Wilcox. 2000. Introduction to the Algae. pp. 1 –21 in Algae. Prentice Hall, Saddle River, NJ. 640 + pp.

    Sculthorpe, C.D. 1967.  The salient features of aquatic vascular plants. pp. 1-24 in The Biology of Aquatic Vascular Plants. Edward Arnold, London (Reprinted 1985 Koeltz Scientific, Königstein), 610 pp.

    Kuo, J. and C. Den Hartog. 2000. Seagrasses: A profile of an ecological group.  Biologica marina mediterranea (Genova) 7:3-17.

    Part II -  Physiological Ecology

    Melzer, A. and C. Steinberg. 1983. Nutrient cycling in marine ecosystems. pp 47-84 in O.L. Lange, P.S. Nobel, C.B. Osmond, and H. Ziegler (eds) Physiological Plant Ecology IV: Ecosystem Processes: Mineral Cycling, Productivity and Man's Influence. (Encyclopedia of Plant Physiology New Series 12D. Springer Verlag, Berlin, 644 pp.

    Parsons, T.R. and P.J. Harrison. 1983. Nutrient cycling in marine ecosystems. pp 85-115 in O.L. Lange, P.S. Nobel, C.B. Osmond, and H. Ziegler (eds) Physiological Plant Ecology IV: Ecosystem Processes: Mineral Cycling, Productivity and Man's Influence. (Encyclopedia of Plant Physiology New Series 12D. Springer Verlag, Berlin, 644 pp.

    Flowers, T.J., M.A. Hajibagheri, and N.J.W. Clipson. 1986. Halophytes. Quarterly Review of Biology 61:313-337.

    Pedersen, O. and K. Sand-Jensen. 1993. Water transport in submerged macrophytes. Aquatic Botany 44:385-406.

    Wetzel, R.G. 1983. Light in lakes. pp 45-70 in Limnology, 2nd Edition. Saunders College,  Orlando, 767 pp +. Geider, R.J. and B.A. Osborne. 1992. Measuring photosynthetic pigments. pp. 107-121 in Algal Photosynthesis. Chapman and Hall, New York, 256 pp. Maberly, S.C. 1990. Exogenous sources of inorganic carbon for photosynthesis by marine macroalgae. Journal of Phycology 26:439-449.

    Walker, N.A. 1983. The uptake of inorganic carbon by freshwater plants. Plant Cell and Environment. 6:323-328.

    Beer, S. 1989. Photosynthesis and photorespiration of marine angiosperms. Aquatic Botany 34:153-166.

    Longstreth, D.J. 1989. Photosynthesis and photorespiration of freshwater emergent and floating plants. Aquatic Botany 34:287-299.

    Part III -  Evolutionary Ecology

    Neilsen, S.L. and K Sand-Jensen. 1993. Photosynthetic implications of heterophylly in Batrachium peltatum (Schrank) Presl.  Aquatic Botany 44:361-371. Dudgeon, S.R., J.E. Kübler, R.L. Vadas, and I.R. Davison. 1995. Physiological responses to environmental variation in intertidal red algae: does thallus morphology matter? Marine Ecology Progress Series 117:193-206.

    Norton, T.A., A.C. Mathieson, and M. Neushul. 1981. Morphology and Environment. pp 421-451 in The Biology of Seaweeds. C.S. Lobban and M.J. Wynne (eds). University of California Press, Berkeley, 786 pp.

    Grace, J.B. 1993. The adaptive significance of clonal reproduction in angiosperms: an aquatic perspective. Aquatic Botany 44:159-180.

    Philbrick, C.T. and D.H. Les. 1996. Evolution of aquatic angiosperm reproductive systems. Bioscience 46:813-826.

    Givnish, T.J. 1989. Ecology and evolution of carnivorous plants. pp. 243-290 In: W.G. Abrahamson (ed.) Plant-Animal Interactions. McGraw-Hill, New York. 480 pp. Ackerman, J.D. 1995. Convergence of filiform pollen morphologies in seagrasses: functional mechanisms. Evolutionary Ecology 9:139-153.

    Menge, B.A., T.M. Farrell, A.M. Olson, P. van Tamelen, and T. Turner. 1993. Algal recruitment and the maintenance of a plant mosaic in the low intertidal region of the Oregon coast. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 170:91-116.

    Bolton, J. J. 1994. Global seaweed diversity: Patterns and Anomalies. Botanica Marina 37:241-245.

    Gopal, B. and U. Goel. 1993. Competition and allelopathy in aquatic plant communities. The Botanical Review 59:155-210.

    Larkum, A.W.D. and C. den Hartog. 1989. Evolution and biogeography of seagrasses. pp 112-156 in A.W.D. Larkum, A.J. McComb, and S.A. Shepherd (eds). Biology of Seagrasses. Elsevier, Amsterdam 841 pp.

    Part IV - Aquatic Plants and Society

    Les, D.H., and L.J. Mehrhoff. 1999. Introduction of nonindigenous aquatic vascular plants in southern New England: a historical perspective. Biological Invasions 1:281-300. Bowes, G. 1993. Facing the inevitable: plants and increasing atmospheric CO2. Annual Review of Plant Physiology and Plant Molecular Biology 44:309-332.

    Davis, F.W. 1985. Historical changes in submerged macrophyte communities of upper Chesapeake Bay. Ecology 66:981-993.

    Lovett Doust, L. and J. Lovett Doust. 1995. Wetland management and conservation of rare species. Canadian Journal of Botany 73:1019-1028.

    Klötzli, F. 1988. Conservational status and use of sedge wetlands. Aquatic Botany 30:157-168.

    Neushul, M., J. Benson, B.W.W. Harger, and A.C. Charters. 1992. Macroalgal farming in the sea:  Water motion and nitrate uptake. Journal of  Applied Phycology 4:255-265.

    Vasquez, J.A. 1993.  Ecological effects of brown seaweed harvesting. Botanica Marina. 36:251-257.


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    Last modified on September 25, 2002.