Freshwater ecosystems are under increasing pressure as human populations grow and the need for clean water intensifies. The demand for ecologists and environmental managers who are trained in basic freshwater ecology has never been greater. Students and practitioners new to the field of freshwater ecology and management need a text that provides them with an accessible introduction to the key questions while still providing sufficient background on basic scientific methods.Gerry Closs, Barbara Downes and Andrew Boulton have written a text that meets the requirements of these students. Following an introduction to scientific methodology and its application to the study of ecology, several key concepts in freshwater ecology are reviewed using a wide range of scientific studies into fundamental and applied ecological questions. Key ecological questions that are explored in a freshwater context include the role of animal dispersal and predators on freshwater community structure and the impact of pollutants and introduced species on freshwater ecosystems.This book represents the only freshwater ecology textbook that is specifically aimed at an introductory level. It will also be a useful primer for students who have not previously taken a specialized freshwater course but who require an accessible overview of the subject. General reviews on the methods of science, influence of scale, and the main features of freshwater systems. Coverage of several fundamental and applied ecological questions. A logical structure in each chapter that builds from a general observation of an ecological pattern, to an exploration of the various scientific approaches that can be used to investigate such patterns. Suggested further reading lists for each chapter.