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EAS 511: Monitoring and Modelling Terrestrial Ecosystems and Hydrologic Processes


Course Title

Monitoring and Modelling Terrestrial Ecosystems and Hydrologic Processes

Course Code

EAS 511

Course Type




Instructor’s Name

Assoc. Prof. Adriana Bruggeman (Lead Instructor), Dr. Hakan Djuma, Dr. Christos Zoumides



Lectures / week

1 (3 hour)

Laboratories / week

3 field and lab practicals (3 hours each)

Course Purpose and Objectives

Purpose: Mediterranean ecosystems have adopted various strategies and mechanisms to survive and thrive in a water-limited environment. We still have incomplete knowledge about a wide range of hydrologic and ecosystems processes, from leaves to watersheds in semi-arid environments. A good understanding of terrestrial hydrologic and ecosystems processes starts with observing, monitoring and measuring. This course reviews terrestrial hydrological processes, water fluxes between soil, plant and atmosphere, and plant responses to environmental variables. Soil-plant-water relations and characteristics will be measured and analyzed in the field and in the laboratory, using state of the art equipment.

Objectives: This course aims to present a broad overview of terrestrial hydrologic processes and the water fluxes between soil, plants and atmosphere. The students will learn to use state of the art equipment for measuring water fluxes and plant physiological processes in the field and in the laboratory. The students will learn how to analyse field and laboratory data and compute water balances.

Learning Outcomes

The students will gain a broad understanding of hydrologic and ecosystems processes in semi-arid environments. The students will learn how to measure and analyse water fluxes and plant physiological processes in the field and in the laboratory, using state of the art equipment. At the end of the course the students will know how to measure and compute plant-soil water balances.



Background Requirements


Course Content

1. Precipitation and evapotranspiration
2. Soil water processes and characteristics
3. Surface runoff, streamflow and groundwater
4. Leaf area index and stomatal conductance
5. Plant hydraulics and sapflow
6. Interception and throughfall
7. Developing and computing water balances

Teaching Methodology

Lectures. field and laboratory practicals


1. Ward, A.D. and S.W. Trimble. 2004. Environmental hydrology, 2nd ed. CRC Pres LCC, Boca Raton, FL, USA
2. Davie, T. 2008. Fundamentals of Hydrology, 2nd ed. Routledge, New York and London.
3. Schulze, E-F et al. 2019. Plant ecology, 2nd ed. Springer, Germany
4. Bonan, G. Climate Change and Terrestrial Ecosystem Modeling, 2019, Cambridge University Press 
5. Recent journal articles


Coursework, analysis of field and lab observations and practical exercises