Food Web Analysis - From Sample to Model - 2016 edition

Summer school in network analyses, edition 2016 (Foto: B. Hussel)

Aim of the course

Introduction into food web analysis using the example of the Wadden Sea Ecosystem. Demonstration of the necessary steps of food web description: sampling and habitat analysis as well as basics of the ecological network analysis will be communicated by explaining and exercising simple modelling.




Wadden Sea Station on Sylt of the Alfred- Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung



Target audience

Advanced students, Bachelor,-Master- and PhD students with ecologically focused programme of study. Although the course is focusing on a marine ecosystem, interested students of terrestrial and limnic ecology as well as advanced disciplines are welcome.




The course is a full-time course and participants are accommodated in one of the guest houses of our institute in List at Sylt (18 Euro per day). For details please ask Dr. Harald Asmus.




For registration or further information please contact directly Dr. Harald Asmus.

Unfortunately we have limited space and therefore who will register first will get a place.




The course is on volunteer basis and has no further expenses out of accommodation and meals.

There is one supermarket close to the village and a couple of bakeries where you may buy all what you need. Furthermore the guest house has a fully equipped kitchen with living room where you may prepare your meals.



Course Materials

We ask you to bring your laptop and to install the required software beforehand. This lets speed up the preparation for excises and practices with the computer. Further material and information will be given in due time. 




Tuesday: 19.07.2016


Wednesday: 20.07.2016

09:00- 10:00 General introduction into food web analysis

10:00- 10:30 Primary producers of the Wadden Sea

10:30- 11:15 Introduction into the course programme and building of teams (2-3 persons)

11:15- 12:30 Lunch break

12:30- 14:00 Primary producers and incubation of samples

14:00- 15:00 After sample procedures /incubation techniques/biomass sampling/chlorophyll

15:00- 17:00 Practical exercises to measure primary production/end of measurements

17:00- 18:00 Evaluating and presenting results

Thursday: 21.07.2016

09:00- 12:00 Predators of the Wadden Sea: Excursion on board of RV MYA II

12:00- 13:00 Lunch break

13:00- 16:00 Analysing, evaluating and presenting results from fishing and dredging

16:00- 17:00 Consumers of the Wadden Sea/ sampling techniques

Friday: 22.07.2016

09:00- 12:00 Field trip with benthic sampling

12:00- 13:00 Lunch break

13:00- 16:00

16:00- 18:00 Analysing samples (Biomass of macrobenthos), evaluating and presenting results

Saturday: 23.07.2016

9:00- 12:00 Ornithological tour into Königshafen /bird predation at certain communities

12:00- 14:00 Lunch break

14:00- 15:30 What kind of data are required to construct a quantitative food web?

15:30- 16:00 The Wadden Sea Ecosystem

16:00- 18:00 Literature and methodology reviews, methods of system analysis and introduction to Ecological Network analysis (ENA), explaining the data base of the food web of the Sylt-Rømø Bight

Sunday: 24.07.2016


Monday: 25.07.2016

09:00 - 12:00 Statistical methods for modelling benthos communities

12:00 – 14:00 Lunch

14:00 – 18:00 Models of North Sea Benthos / applications, exercises and discussion


Tuesday: 26.07.2016

09:00 - 10:30 Input Output Analysis

10:30 - 10:45 Coffee break

10:45- 12:00 Trophic Analysis

12:00 - 14:00 Lunch:

14:00 - 15:00 Cycle Analysis

15:00 - 16:00 Total System Properties

16:00 - 16:20 Coffee Break

16:20 - 17:00 Software and assistant programmes, books and literature

Wednesday 27.07.2016

9:00- 10:00 Benthic communities and their role for energy flow and food web of the intertidal system of the Sylt-Rømø Bight

10:00- 12:00 Practical Exercises with food webs using network analysis

12:00- 14:00 Lunch

14:00- 18:00 Continuing practical exercises with own data and models

Thursday 28.07.2016

09:00- 12:00 Discussion of homework: How can we indicate stability of ecosystems?

Departure from 12:00 onwards