C. Blacklock/USFWS
 E. O'Neil/USFWS


Welcome to the Ecology of Aquatic Communities web page.  On this page, you will find general information on the course syllabus, lecture schedule, select lecture notes, additional readings, links to recommended web sites, and class photos.

This course explores the biological, chemical and physical features of lakes and streams.  These features are related to general ecological concepts and environmental concerns.  The course focuses on the invertebrate and fish communities, and the physiological adaptations of species to the aquatic environment.  Theoretical approaches and practical techniques will be addressed.

In addition, this course includes considerable field work.  The laboratory introduces you to a variety of aquatic ecosystems and species and relevant sampling procedures and equipment.  The laboratory experience is essential to this course.

P. Ramirez/USFWS
W. Hartley/USFWS

Dr. Susan Allen-Gil 
Office: Center for Natural Science (CNS) 159
Phone: 274-1066, email: sallen@ithaca.edu
Office hours: MWF 10-11
E-mail: sallen@ithaca.edu
Dr. Bruce Smith
Office: Center for Natural Science (CNS) 166
Phone: 274-3971, email: smithb@ithaca.edu
Office hours:
E-mail: smithb@ithaca.edu

General Information (these on-line files are provided in Acrobat Reader/PDF format.   If you don't already have it, you'll need to get Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to display and print the files).

Example ImageWriting Evaluation and Tips

Example ImageCourse syllabus: assignments, evaluation, and lecture and lab schedule

Student Posters

NEW --

Stream Suvey Spring 2005 (Cayuga Inlet)

Stream Suvey Spring 2003 (6-Mile Creek)

List of families and genera, Cayuga Inlet headwaters, Lytle & Peckarsky 2001 Inlet

Recent lecture PowerPoints are available:

Example Imagelecure 1
Example ImageIntro to Insects 1
Example ImageIntro to Insects 2
Example ImageOrganic Material 1
Example ImageOrganic Material 2
Example ImageAutotrophs
Example ImageHerbivory
Example ImageTrophic Relationships
Example ImagePredation
Example ImageCompetition and Biomonitoring
Example ImageAquatic Biodiversity
Example ImageEndangered Species
Example ImageDispersal and Gene Flow
Example ImageFish Migration
Example Image Wierd Water
Example Image Wierd Water--2

Additional Readings

The 1986 Lake Nyos Gas Disaster in Cameroon, West Africa by Kling, G. et al., Science, New Series, Vol. 236, No. 4798. (Apr. 10, 1987), pp. 169-175.

The last sturgeon?  by K. Leutwyler, 1998. Scientific American.

From Anchovies to Sardines and Back by Chavez et al., 2003.  Science, 299: 217-221.
Open the floodgates! Powell, K. 2002.  Nature, 420:356-358. (not available on-line)

Cichlid Fish Diversity Threatened by Eutrophication That Curbs Sexual Selection, by Seehausen et al., 1997.  Science 1997 277: 1808-1811

Spatial and temporal impacts of a diesel fuel spill on stream invertebrate by Lytle, D.A., Peckarsky, B.L. 2001. Freshwater Biology 46, 693-704.

Web Resource Links
American Stonefly Webpage

An Introduction to Benthic Macroinvertebrates - This site give you a brief introduction to the type of benthic macroinvertebrates that can be found in different aquatic ecosystems and how they can be used as indicators of water quality.  It also give information on biomonitoring.

Aquatic Ecology Page (links)

Aquatic Insect Gallery

Aquatic Insect Photographs by Thomas Ames Jr.

Benthic Macroinvertebrates in freshwaters - taxa tolerance values, metrics, and protocols

Canada's Aquatic Environments - This site is divived into sections on plants, animals, habitats and human interactions.  Very nicely produced with tons of information, links and great graphics!

Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants

Cooperative Research Centre for Freshwater Ecology - The CRC for Freshwater Ecology (CRCFE) exists to improve the condition of Australia's inland waters.  This link brings you to their home page.  Search their site, follow their links for more freshwater ecology information!

Environment Canada - Protocols for measuring Biodiversity: Benthic Macroinvertebrates in Fresh Waters

EPA: biological indicators of watershed health

Freshwater Benthic Ecology and Aquatic Entomology Homepage
This site contains detailed information on benthic invertebrate orders (with pictures!) and detailed descrioptions of the use of members within the orders as biological indicators.

Freshwater Ecology Lynx - This site is a JACKPOT for freshwater ecologists.  It's devoted to all kinds of links dealing with freshwater ecology, including.... Governmental Lynx, Map Lynx, NGO's & Professional Organization Lynx, Research Lynx, Misc. Related Lynx, Chat & Bulletin Board Lynx, Water Quality Lynx, EcoLynx Library of Freshwater Ecology, Popular Literature, Peer-Reviewed Literature, Libraries, AND ....an OnlineReference Desk.

Geocities Links to Aquatic Life & Ecology (links)


Journal of the North American Benthological Society - archives and abstracts

Jim Marden (Penn. State Univ. faculty website): includes evolution of flight in stoneflies

Infotrac - this link brings you to Ithaca College Library's infotrac search engine where you can search Expanded Academic ASAP for scientific journal articles and print abstracts or full text articles

Limnology (course website for Lander University; links)

Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources - Freshwater Benthic Macroinvertebrates

Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources - Freshwater Benthic Macroinvertebrate Key

Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Research

National Council for Science and the Environment - this link brings you to a cyberspace universe of environmental information.  Updates, pending federal legislation, maps, on-line environmental journals, and jobs - you name it, it's here.

NY Federation of Lakes Association (links)

New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation: Key to Aquatic Macroinvertebrates  Highly Recommended!!!

North American Benthological Society - ( links for aquatic insects) The North American Benthological Society (NABS) is an international scientific organization whose purpose is to promote better understanding of the biotic communities of lake and stream bottoms and their role in aquatic ecosystems, by providing media and disseminating new investigation results, new interpretations, and other benthological information to aquatic biologists and to the scientific community at large.  This link brings you to their home page.

Odonata (dragonfly/damselfly) Larvae of Michigan

Pennsylvania Aquatic Insects

Plecoptera (stoneflies) of Pennsylvania

River Science

SOS the stream study - macroinvertebrate key

The Saskatchewan Aquatic Insects Page

Tim's Aquatic Macroinvertebrate ID Links

Trichoptera (caddisflies) of Pennsylvania

US Army Corps of Engineers: Aquatic Plant Control Research Program

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the only agency of the U.S. Government whose primary responsibility is fish, wildlife, and plant conservation. The Service helps protect a healthy environment for people, fish and wildlife, and helps Americans conserve and enjoy the outdoors and our living treasures. This link brings you to USFWS's home page.

US Geological Survey - Mayflies of the United States (incl. by state)

US Geological Survey - Stoneflies of the United States (incl. by state)

VCSU Macro-Invertebrate Lab - Digital Key to Aquatic Insects of North Dakota

The Wonderful Caddis Worm: Sculptural Work in Collaboration with Trichoptera

Xerces Society - Aquatic Insect Conservation

Some excellent sources for environmental updates and news articles:
Example ImageEnvironmental News Network
Example ImageEnvirolink News Service
PlanetArk Environmental News

Photos from Spring 2005


Visit the Biology Department home page. Visit the IC home page.

This page maintained by Susan Allen-Gil and Nancy Pierce
Last updated on 5/13/05