Written from an ecosystem perspective, this user-friendly and thorough book discusses, without the use of jargon, events that happen below the waterline of lakes, rivers, and wetlands and links them back to the attributers of the drainage basins, the overlying atmosphere and climate, which have a major impact on inland waters and their biota. It also contains a large number of easy-to-comprehend figures and tables that reinforce the written material and provide evidence for statements made. The focus on how fundamental limnology applies to environmental management and conservation shows readers that fundamental science can (and does) make a major contribution to solving environmental problems. Chapters 1 and 2 provide a background and history of limnology. Patterns are based on data and photos from all over the world. Emphasis placed on the role of drainage basins, the atmosphere, contaminants, weather and climate — in determining the function of aquatic systems. Chapters on acidifying precipitation, organic and trace metal contaminants, and reservoirs integrates the individual topics discussed in the different chapters by bringing it to bear on three major environmental issues. Emphasis on the importance of the spatial, temporal, and interval scales over which research is carried out and conclusions are drawn and the difficulty of “scaling up” findings. For further study by those with limnology or aquatic management and conservation careers.