Management of Ecosystems
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleNWI-BM039A
Credits (ECTS)3
CategoryMA (Master)
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Science; BioWetenschappen;
PreviousNext 2
prof. dr. S. Kosten
Other course modules lecturer
prof. dr. S. Kosten
Other course modules lecturer
Contactperson for the course
prof. dr. S. Kosten
Other course modules lecturer
prof. dr. S. Kosten
Other course modules lecturer
prof. dr. L.P.M. Lamers
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2019
KW1  (02/09/2019 to 03/11/2019)
Starting block
Course mode
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesYes
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-
• The student can give a critical vision on the management of ecosystems and their services;
• The student is able to formulate management and restoration measures with respect to anthropogenic forcing for various ecosystem types;
• The student can elaborate on critical factors that explain why measures lead to a success or failure.
Nature management and restoration, for a long time, has been based on a trial and error approach. In the present course you will learn why an approach based on biogeochemical research is vital for ecosystem management and restoration. This scientific approach, focusing on biogeochemical and ecological key factors and key processes, provides insight into the actual causal relationships between environmental changes and ecosystem responses. In addition, it indicates the target processes for restoration and conservation of biodiversity, and thereby enables scientists and nature managers to predict restoration prospects for locations that differ with respect to their initial conditions.
The course consists of following elements:
  • Short recap lectures on ecological and biogeochemical concepts
  • Paper discussion
  • Case study: writing of a technical advice report (management or restoration advice to tackle a specific ecological problem).
During the course you will focus on acquiring academic skills (e.g. interpreting scientific papers) as well skills necessary to be a successful nature manager or ecological consultant (e.g. formulating practical advice).

Students who want to attend this course, should be familiar with basic concepts of biogeochemistry and ecology. The master course ‘Management of Ecosystems’ is an ideal follow up of the RU bachelor courses Applied Ecology (Toegepaste Ecologie) and System Ecology (Systeem Ecologie).

A syllabus and case study material will be available on bright space. Especially for students lacking a bachelor background in ecology and biogeochemistry we advise to read the below mentioned article (Lamers et al. 2015) before the start of the course. 
Major topics that will be discussed
Major land-use changes
Habitat and ecosystem consequences
Restoration of habitat and ecosystem quality
Biodiversity: species recolonization
Restoration of carbon sequestration as an ecosystem service
From trial and error to predictability

Working methods:
  • Team work (problem-based-learning)
  • Tutor meetings
  • Lectures
  • Team presentation
Your grade will be based on the following elements:
  1. an individual test (20%),
  2. an individual paragraph in your team’s technical advice report (30%),
  3. a team grade for the presentation of your technical advice report (15%) and
  4. a team grade for the collective parts of the technical advice report (35%).
You need to score at least a 5.5 for all elements to pass the course.


Presumed foreknowledge
Master in biology; preferably with couses Applied Ecology (Toegepaste Ecologie) and System Ecology (Systeem Ecologie)
Test information
Written exam (closed book).

• Management of surface water ecosystems
• Climate change and management of C-limited lakes
• Management of boreal lakes
• Management of wetland ecosystems
• Management of tropical coatal systems
• Control of invasive species
• Management of tropical seagrass systems
• Management of temperate coastal ecosystems
• Management of heathland, peatland and dune fauna
• Atmospheric pollution and ecosystem management
• Management of heathlands, calcareous and acidic grasslands
• Management of forests
• Habitat fragmentation, dispersal and management

Test information
Written exam (closed book).

Master in biology; preferably with couses Applied Ecology (Toegepaste Ecologie) and System Ecology (Systeem Ecologie)

Required materials
Article to be discussed and examined during the first week of the course
Title:Ecological restoration of rich fens in Europe and North America: from trial and error to an evidence-based approach
Author:1. Lamers, L. P. M., M. A. Vile, A. P. Grootjans, M. C. Acreman, R. van Diggelen, M. G. Evans, C. J. Richardson, L. Rochefort, A. M. Kooijman, J. G. M. Roelofs and A. J. P. Smolders
Publisher:Biological Reviews

Instructional modes
Course occurrence



Attendance MandatoryYes



Response course



The remaining time can be used for self study and preparation of the assignments

Individual test
Test weight4
Test typeExam
OpportunitiesBlock KW1, Block KW2

Individual paragraph
Test weight6
Test typeReport
OpportunitiesBlock KW1

Test weight3
Test typePresentation
OpportunitiesBlock KW1

Technical advice report
Test weight7
Test typeProject
OpportunitiesBlock KW1