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Greenhouse gases and biogeochemical cycles


Course content

The course includes lectures which aim to give a solid theoretical knowledge of the carbon cycle, greenhouse gases and related environmental issues. The assimilation of carbon into ecosystems via photosynthesis is covered as well as carbon emissions from ecosystems via respiration and decomposition and the production of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, laughing gas and other volatile organic carbon compounds). We will also discuss the ways in which these processes are influenced by changes in vegetation and climate, primarily in northern ecosystems.

Note! The 10 day field work in Abisko in northern Sweden is covered mainly by the department, but students who choose to join the field trip are expected to contribute with ca 200 euros.

Teaching methods

The course includes several practical elements such as field-based, computer-based and laboratory-based exercises and a more extensive field project. These elements aim to give theoretical and practical insight into the methods used in this subject area.


Two books that cover the course content very well are recommended for supplementary
reading. Both are available as e-books:

  • Biogeochemistry : An analysis of Global Change, 4th edition William H. Schlesinger, Emily S. Bernhardt, Amsterdam : Elsevier, cop. 2020
  • Atm-Bio interaction: Transport in the Atmosphere-Vegetation Soil Continuum, A.F. Moene & J.C van Dam, Cambridge Univ press. 2014

Course coordinator

Course facts

Level: Advanced
Credits: 15 ECTS
Period: Autumn 1
Language of instruction: English
Prerequisites: General admission requirements and 90 ECTS science subjects.

Course syllabus (pdf, 221 kb, new window)