2019-2020 / BIOL2033-1

Monitoring of the biodiversity and dynamics of citizen


20h Th, 24h Pr, 8d FW

Number of credits

 Master in biology of organisms and ecology (120 ECTS)4 crédits 


Johann Delcourt, Mathieu Denoël, Alain Hambuckers, Michaël Ovidio


Alain Hambuckers

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

This course includes 4 parts: (1) Monitoring of the biodiversity in land environment, (2) Analyzes of viability of the populations, (3) A brief introduction to the diversity, ecology and monitoring of amphibians and (4) Surveys of populations of freshwater fish
(1) Sampling of the biodiversity is based on the knowledge of foundations and the theoretical variations of its distribution. The realization of appropriate sampling plans  allows to test correctly hypotheses. The theoretical elements important to take into account will be explained. A practical exercise of sampling calibrated for landsnail species in forest environment will be realized. The collected data will be used within the framework of a managed work, to test the quality of the sampling (exhaustiveness). A set of data will also be given and used to highlight the effect of environmental factors on the species richness by using a generalized linear model (GLM).
(2) On basis of censuses of population, data collected during long term tracking of the individuals, or still data obtained by the methods of tagging-recapture, it is possible to obtain quantity of precious information concerning population dynamic. For a future environmental and wild-life manager, whatever the species is animal or vegetable, to be able to predict the state and the future of a population is a crucial question: is it healthy, is it in expansion or on the decline? What is the extinction probability of a population? These questions are relevant for decision-making concerning preservation: predict if a population is in danger or out of hazard, to estimate its degree of exploitation, to estimate the efficiency of the measures taken to save a threatened population or to control an invasive population, choose what are the populations to save first in priority in the face of constraints of time and money, and the impact of reintroduction. These subjects will be explained by alternating theory and practical examples by using the R software.
(3) The third part of the lecture is on the diversity, ecology and monitoring of amphibians, mainly from temperate regions or specifically on their conservation and management
(4) The part of the lecture devoted to the monitoring of freshwater fish includes active participation in a field experiment (fish inventory by electric fishing, tagging, tracking) and pratical exercice and theoritical debriefing. The required work is the analysis of data collected during the field experiment, in order to present them in a written format. 

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

Part 1:  - To adopt appropriate sampling designs and data analysis methods
- Correctly report analysis results

Part 2:  - Master the concepts of determinist and stochastic models
- Be able of predicting the current and future state of a population
- Know how to make PVAs based on the countings and populational matrices
- Know how to adapt methods according to the set of available data and to the field constraints
- Know how to use the main functions of {popbio} package in [R]
- Be able to answer practical questions in the context of management of natural populations on basis of the information collected by the PVAs, and suggest recommendations to manage these populations
- Master concepts and effects of temporal autocorrelation, of density dependence, Allee effect and of the demographic stochasticity
- Manage bias inferred by the observational errors and by the degree of detectability of a species
- Know how to estimate the effects of management on populations

- Develop his(her) critical mind about modellings
Part 4:
- To adopt appropriate sampling designs and data analysis methods to follow the population dynamic of freshwater fish populations. 
- TO  Develop a critical mind on the adequacy of the different techniques depending on the species considered and the type of watercourse inventoried.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Basics of ecology
Basics of R and multivariate statistical analysis

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

part 1: lecture, field work, staff-led work (data analysis and reporting)
part 2: lectures with sessions of applied exercises integrated directly into the course.
part 3: lecture. A field course is also planned in application of the points exposed during the lecture.
part4: field work, data analysisi and reporting.

Mode of delivery (face-to-face ; distance-learning)

Face-to-face, mandatory.

Recommended or required readings

For the partim 2 (PVA): the course is essentially based on three sources:

1) Quantitative Morris WF and Doak DF (2002) biology preservation: theory and practice of viability analysis population. Ed. Sinauer, 480 p.

2) Caswell H (2001) Matrix population models: construction, analysis and interpretation(performance). Ed. Sinauer. 722 p.

3) { Popbio } in [ R ] Package: downloadable document on the link: https: // cran.r-project.org/web/packages/popbio/popbio.pdf

Assessment methods and criteria

Part 1: presentation of the results and conclusions of the staff-led work
Part 2: it is asked to the student to apply the methods seen during the course within the framework of a directed exercise proposed during the year, and the student will have to present it orally.
Part4: presentation of the results and conclusions of the staff-led work

Work placement(s)

An optional field excursion is planned to show local amphibian diversity and sampling methods.

Organizational remarks


Part 1: Dr Alain HAMBUCKERS Unité de Biologie du Comportement Institut de Zoologie (Bât. I1) Université de Liège Quai van Beneden 22 4020 Liège E-mail: alain.hambuckers@ulg.ac.be
Part 2: Dr Johann DELCOURT Unité de Biologie du Comportement Institut de Zoologie (Bât. I1) Université de Liège Quai van Beneden 22 4020 Liège E-mail: Johann.Delcourt@ulg.ac.be   Part 3: Prof. Mathieu DENOËL Unité de Biologie du Comportement Institut de Zoologie (Bât. I1) Université de Liège Quai van Beneden 22 4020 Liège E-mail: Mathieu.Denoel[a]uliege.be
Part 4: Dr Michaël OVIDIO Unité de Biologie du Comportement Institut de Zoologie (Bât. I1) Université de Liège Quai van Beneden 22 4020 Liège E-mail: M.Ovidio@uliege.be

Items online

Landsnails of Wallonia
Support for the practice work connected to the cursus BIOL2033

Introduction to the determination of the main landsnail species observed in Wallonia

PVA first part
First part PVA Cursus (Chapters 1-3)

second part PVA cursus
Chapter IV

Johann Delcourt cursus part 3
Chapter 5 PVA taking account of observational errors

Johann Delcourt cursus part 4
PVA chapter 6 matricial models