Skip to main content

Ecology of Fresh Waters: A View for the Twenty-First Century, 4th Edition



Ecology of Fresh Waters: A View for the Twenty-First Century, 4th Edition

Brian R. Moss

ISBN: 978-1-118-68779-6 May 2013 Wiley-Blackwell 480 Pages

Download Product Flyer

Download Product Flyer

Download Product Flyer is to download PDF in new tab. This is a dummy description. Download Product Flyer is to download PDF in new tab. This is a dummy description. Download Product Flyer is to download PDF in new tab. This is a dummy description. Download Product Flyer is to download PDF in new tab. This is a dummy description.


This new edition of an established textbook provides a comprehensive and stimulating introduction to rivers, lakes and wetlands, and was written as the basis for a complete course on freshwater ecology. Designed for undergraduate and early postgraduate students who wish to gain an overall view of this vast subject area, this accessible guide to freshwater ecosystems and man's activities will also be invaluable to anyone interested in the integrated management of freshwaters. The author maintains the tradition of clarity and conciseness set by previous editions, and the text is extensively illustrated with photographs and diagrams. Examples are drawn from the author's experience in many parts of the world, and the author continues to stress the human influence. The scientific content of the text has been fully revised and updated, making use of the wealth of data available since publication of the last edition.  Professor Brian Moss is a lecturer in Applied Ecology at the University of Liverpool, and has written three previous editions of this well-established textbook.

1. Introduction.

1.1 Why?

Further reading.

2. Water, a remarkable unremarkable substance.

2.1 Introduction.

2.2 The molecular properties of water and their physical consequences.

2.3 How much water is there and where is it?

2.4 Patterns in hydrology.

2.5 Bodies of water and their temperatures.

2.5.1 Lakes and latitude.

2.6 Viscosity of water, fluid dynamics and the diffusion of gases.

2.6.1 Diffusion.

Further reading.

3. Why the chemistry of water is so important.

3.1 Introduction.

3.1.1 Polar and covalent compounds.

3.2 The atmosphere.

3.3 Major ions.

3.4 Global patterns in major ions: glaciation and endorheism.

3.5 Open and closed basins.

3.6 The big picture.

Further reading.

4. More water chemistry: the key nutrients, trace elements and organic matter.

4.1 Introduction.

4.2 Concepts of limiting substances.

4.3 Nutrients.

4.4 Phosphorus.

4.5 Nitrogen.

4.6 Pristine concentrations.

4.7 Trace elements and silicon.

4.8 Organic substances.

4.8.1 Patterns in DOM availability.

4.9 Substance budgets.

4.10 Sediment–water relationships.

Further reading.

5. Light thrown upon the waters.

5.1 Light.

5.2 From above to under the water.

5.3 From physics and chemistry to biology.

Further reading.

6. Evolution and diversity of freshwater organisms.

6.1 Introduction.

6.2 The ecological theatre and the evolutionary play.

6.3 The freshwater biota.

6.4 Living in freshwaters.

6.5 Dispersal among freshwaters.

6.6 Patterns in freshwater diversity.

6.7 The fish of Lake Victoria.

6.8 Low diversity freshwater habitats.

6.9 A summary of the freshwater biota and its problems.

Further reading.

7. Headwater streams and rivers.

7.1 Introduction.

7.2 General models of stream ecosystems.

7.3 A basic lesson in stream flow.

7.4 Flow and discharge.

7.5 Laminar and turbulent flow.

7.6 Particles carried.

7.7 The response of stream organisms to shear stress.

7.8 Community composition in streams.

7.8.1 Algal and plant communities.

7.8.2 Macroinvertebrates.

7.9 Streams in cold climates: the polar and alpine zones.

7.10 Stream systems in the cold temperate zone.

7.11 Warm temperate streams.

7.12 Desert streams.

7.13 Tropical streams.

Further reading.

8. Uses, misuses and restoration of headwater streams and rivers.

8.1 Traditional use of headwater river systems.

8.2 Deforestation.

8.3 Acidification.

8.4 Eutrophication.

8.5 Commercial afforestation.

8.6 Settlement.

8.7 Engineering impacts.

8.8 Alterations of the fish community by man.

8.9 Sewage, toxic pollution and their treatment.

8.10 Diffuse pollution.

8.11 River monitoring.

8.12 The Water Framework Directive.

8.13 Implementation of the Directive.

8.14 Wider considerations: ecosystem services.

8.15 Restoration, rehabilitation and reconciliation ecology.

8.16 Reconciliation ecology of river systems.

Further reading.

9. Middle stage and depositional floodplain rivers.

9.1 Introduction.

9.2 Change from an erosive river to a depositional one.

9.3 Submerged plants.

9.4 Growth of submerged plants.

9.5 Methods of measuring the primary productivity of submerged plants.

9.6 Submerged plants and the river ecosystem.

9.7 Further downstream – swamps and floodplains.

9.8 Swamp and marsh animals.

9.8.1 Whitefish and blackfish.

9.9 Latitudinal differences in floodplains.

Further reading.

10. Floodplain ecosystems and human affairs.

10.1 Introduction.

10.2 Floodplain services.

10.2.1 Floodplain fisheries.

10.3 Floodplain swamps and human diseases.

10.4 Case studies.

10.5 River and floodplain management and rehabilitation.

10.6 Interbasin transfers and water needs.

Further reading.

11. Lakes and other standing waters.

11.1 Introduction.

11.2 The origins of lake basins.

11.3 Lake structure.

11.4 The importance of the catchment area.

11.5 Lakes as autotrophic or heterotrophic systems.

11.6 The continuum of lakes.

11.7 Lake history.

11.10 Filling in.

11.11 Summing up.

Further reading.

12. The communities of shallow standing waters: mires, shallow lakes and the littoral zone.

12.1 Introduction.

12.2 The scope of mires and littoral zones.

12.3 The structure of littoral communities.

12.4 Heterotrophs among the plants.

12.4.1 Neuston.

12.5 Linkages, risks and insurances among the littoral communities.

12.6 Latitude and littorals.

12.7 The role of the nekton.

12.8 Further reading.

13. Plankton communities of the pelagic zone.

13.1 Kitchens and toilets.

13.2 Phytoplankton.

13.3 Heterotrophs in the plankton: viruses and bacteria.

13.4 Protozoa and fungi.

13.5 Zooplankton.

13.6 Fish in the open-water community.

13.7 Piscivores and piscivory.

13.8 Functioning of the open-water community.

Further reading.

14. The profundal zone.

14.1 The end of the line.

14.2 The importance of oxygen.

14.3 Profundal communities.

14.4 Biology of selected benthic invertebrates.

14.5 What the sediment-living detritivores really eat.

14.6 Influence of the open water community on the profundal benthos.

Further reading.

15. The uses, abuses and restoration of standing waters.

15.1 Introduction.

15.2 Services provided by standing waters.

15.3 Fisheries.

15.4 Changes in fisheries: two case studies.

15.5 Fish culture.

15.6 Stillwater angling.

15.7 Amenity culture and the aquarium trade.

15.8 Domestic water supply, eutrophication and reservoirs.

15.8.1 Eutrophication – human induced changes in the production of lakes.

15.8.2 Dams and reservoirs.

15.8.3 Fisheries in new lakes.

15.8.4 Effects downstream of the new lake.

15.8.5 New tropical lakes and human populations.

15.8.6 Man-made tropical lakes, the balance of pros and cons.

15.9 Amenity and conservation.

15.10 Restoration approaches for standing waters: symptom treatment.

15.11 Treatment of proximate causes: nutrient control.

15.12 Habitat creation.

Further reading.

16. Climate change and the future of freshwaters.

16.1 The Merchant of Venice.

16.2 Climate change.

16.3 Existing effects of freshwaters.

16.4 Future effects.

16.5 Control and mitigation of global warming.

16.6 The remedy of ultimate causes.

Further reading.

17. Problem exercises.

1. Stratification.

2. Catchments and water chemistry.

3. The Vollenweider model.

4. Nutrient budgeting.

5. Light penetration.

6. Biodiversity.

7. Problems with a frog.

8. Predation in streams.

9. Deforestation and tropical streams.

10. Swamp habitats and insect adaptations.

11. Ecosystem valuation in a floodplain.

12. Top down and bottom up control in shallow and deep lakes.

13. Palatability of aquatic plants to fish.

14. The plankton of paddling pools.

15. Probing the profundal.

16. The curse of birds for lake managers.

17. Nutrient problems in tricky situations.



The last edition was published in 1998. This new edition is completely revised and updated. New material added particularly on climate change effects.

“This is a wonderful book that many will justifiably recommend for undergraduate and early postgraduate students interested in the integrated management of freshwaters; the new edition will not disappoint, it is a thorough
overhaul and substantial improvement on an already established and useful text book.”  (J Paleolimnol, 5
October 2011)

“This new edition of the textbook provides a comprehensive and stimulating introduction to rivers, lakes and wetlands. It was written as the basis for a complete course on freshwater ecology and hence is accessible to undergraduate and early postgraduate students. Its strongest feature is the promotion of an integrated approach to freshwater systems and science.”  (Austral Ecology, 1 November 2012)

"[This book] is excellent for broadening the understanding of readers with some prior knowledge." (CHOICE, January 2011)
  • A completely re-written edition of a textbook widely used for the past thirty years, continues a tradition of clear, jargon-free writing, a richness of examples and a passionate celebration of rivers, lakes and wetlands.
  • Very up to date- most references are from the last five years and drawn from the top research literature
  • Describes the threats to freshwaters, whilst revelling in the richness of their fundamental ecology.
  • Gives equal treatment to polar, cold and warm temperate and tropical systems, so avoiding any bias towards any particular region. It is truly a text book for the world’s trainee freshwater ecologists.
  • Comprehensively illustrated.