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BTNY203 Marine and Freshwater Botany

The diversity, physiology and ecology of marine and freshwater plants, algae and cyanobacteria.

Laboratory skills will be developed through three practical modules, enabling students to become familiar with these organisms and the environment in which they are found. The practical modules will provide the opportunity for students to design and perform experiments and present this work both orally and in written reports.

Lectures will cover the morphological and physiological adaptations of the phototrophs that enable them to thrive in marine and freshwater habitats with the emphasis on New Zealand environments. The impact of human activities on these organisms will be explored, including global climate change, eutrophication and invasive species.

The practical exercise on a rocky shore at Brighton Beach will relate to the macroalgal lecture block. You will learn to take a shore profile and identify the different intertidal zones to get a better understanding of the abiotic factors throughout the intertidal habitat. By identifying present macroalgal species you will learn about species richness and diversity. You will get familiar with field methodologies and data collection as well as data analysis and interpretation.

Paper title Marine and Freshwater Botany
Paper code BTNY203
Subject Botany
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,141.35
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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One of (BIOL 112, BIOL 113, BIOL 123, BTNY 111, CELS 191, HUBS 191, HUBS 192) and one of (ECOL 111, MARI 112)
BTNY 225
Schedule C
Teaching staff

Associate Professor Linn Hoffmann

Associate Professor Tina Summerfield


Paper Structure
  • Section I: Aquatic photosynthesis: Diversity and evolution.
  • Section II: Marine botany: Coastal ecosystems.
  • Section III: Freshwater botany.
Teaching Arrangements

26 lectures, 8 labs, 1 field trip

Textbooks are not required for this paper.
Course outline

View the course outline for BTNY203

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Critical thinking.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who learn successfully in this paper will:

  • Be familiar with the diversity and evolution of marine and freshwater photosynthetic organisms.
  • Understand the importance of marine and freshwater primary producers in carbon sequestration and nutrient cycling.
  • Understand the role of these organisms in marine and freshwater ecosystems, including the impact of toxic bloom formation, invasive species and global climate change.
  • Understand relevant experimental design and analysis principles.
  • Extend skills in written and oral communication.

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Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 10:00-10:50 28-34, 36-41
Friday 10:00-10:50 29-34, 36-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Tuesday 14:00-16:50 28-34, 36-39