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Ecology of Protists

Code: 44549
ECTS: 6.0
Lecturers in charge: prof. dr. sc. Zrinka Ljubešić
prof. dr. sc. Renata Matoničkin Kepčija
Lecturers: prof. dr. sc. Zrinka Ljubešić - Practicum
prof. dr. sc. Renata Matoničkin Kepčija - Practicum
Take exam: Studomat
English level:


All teaching activities will be held in Croatian. However, foreign students in mixed groups will have the opportunity to attend additional office hours with the lecturer and teaching assistants in English to help master the course materials. Additionally, the lecturer will refer foreign students to the corresponding literature in English, as well as give them the possibility of taking the associated exams in English.

1. komponenta

Lecture typeTotal
Lectures 30
Practicum 30
* Load is given in academic hour (1 academic hour = 45 minutes)

1. To interpret structure and dynamics of protist population development as an answer on environmental parameters using examples of distinctively different water ecosystems.

2. To independently work in a laboratory in a way that they can plan and execute laboratory experiment using protists as a model organisms.

3. To gather results and to analyse them using statistical packages.

4. To know methods of research on a field on examples of different water biotopes.

5. To use different measures for the assessment of water quality in a way that those can be used in terms with current low regulations.

6. To analyse protists position in food webs of different water ecosystems.

7. To compare the models which are used to describe a dynamics of certain communities.



1. Introductory lecture, introduction to protists, overview of protist cell structure and taxonomy, short overview of biotopes, basics of protist ecology
2. Locomotion of protozoa, reactions on environmental parameters, functional role in different communities
3. Assemblages of protozoa, intraspecific and interspecific relationships
4. Benthos, ecological conditions in lotic systems, colonization, sampling methods.
5. Plankton protozoa, soil protozoa
6. The role of protozoa in different ecosystems, ecological pyramids, specificity of local and global protist diversity
7. Ecology of parasitic protozoa.
8. Methodology of field sampling, data analysis
9. Primary productivity, temporal and spatial scale on global level
10. Adaptations on life in plankton
11. Successions in community development
12. Ecological regulators of phytoplankton distribution
13. Regeneration relationships
14. Toxic protists
15. Examples and applications on actual research, conclusions


1. Determination of protozoa
2. Calculation of saprobity index using periphyton as an example
3. Planning of laboratory experiment to assess influence of environmental parameters on community 4. Setup of the experiment
5.-6. Collecting of data, measurements of environmental parameters
7. Analysis of results, discussion, conclusions
8. Setup of the second experiment, group work
9.-14. Monitoring of succession in laboratory conditions, independent work, leading of laboratory notebook
15. Conclusions, presentations of experiments, scientific discussion
  1. Viličić, D. (2014): Ecology and composition of phytoplankton in the Adriatic Sea. Koeltz Scientific Books.
  2. Fenchel, T. (1987): Ecology of Protozoa. Springer Verlag, Berlin.
  3. Wetzel R.G. (2001): Limnology, Lake and River Ecosystems.. Academic Press. A Harcout Science and Technology Company. London.
  4. Lee, R. E. (2008) Phycology. 4th edition. USA, Cambridge University Press
  5. Šolić, M., Krstulović, N. (2000): Ekologija morskog bakterioplanktona. Institut za oceanografiju i ribarstvo. Split.
  6. Viličić, D. (2003): Fitoplankton u ekološkom sustavu mora. Školska knjiga, Zagreb
  7. Sommer, U. (1994): Planktologie. Springer, Berlin.
1. semester
Mandatory course - Regular module - Fresh Water
Consultations schedule: