PRINCIPLES OF ECOLOGY

PRINCIPLES OF ECOLOGY

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iten
Code
83950
ACADEMIC YEAR
2019/2020
CREDITS
6 credits during the 1st year of 9916 ENVIRONMENTAL AND NATURAL SCIENCES (L-32) GENOVA
SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR
BIO/07
LANGUAGE
Italian
TEACHING LOCATION
GENOVA (ENVIRONMENTAL AND NATURAL SCIENCES)
semester
2° Semester
modules
This unit is a module of:
Teaching materials

AIMS AND CONTENT

AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES

The subject aims to provide solid basic knowledge on the structure and functioning of natural systems, with particular emphasis on the mechanisms that determine both the distribution and abundance of organisms as well as their relations with the environment.

The teaching highlights the hierarchical and interdisciplinary nature of ecology with the aim of encouraging students to deal with complex and multi-scalar disciplines and problems. This objective is reflected in the organization of the program that runs through the hierarchical ladder of ecological organization, from the mechanisms underlying biodiversity (evolutionary ecology), passing through the relationships between organisms and species (population ecology) up to the structure and functioning of the communities (community ecology).

The subject will provide the basis for further specialized studies in ecosystem and applied ecology, biodiversity conservation and sustainable environmental management.

Teaching methods

The teaching consists of lectures.

Lectures in the classroom are delivered through multimedia presentations.

SYLLABUS/CONTENT

The teaching program includes the presentation and discussion of the following topics:

  • Introduction to ecology
  • Notes on the history of ecological thought. Ecology and environmentalism.

 

The ecosystem:

• Ecosystem concept. Ecosystem structure. Fundamental concepts on energy. Food chains. Trophic networks. Trophic levels. Primary production. Consumers. Detritivores and decomposers. Metabolism and size of individuals. Trophic structures and ecological pyramids. The concept of Emergy.

• Biogeochemical cycles and environmental factors.

• Limiting factors. Importance of trace elements. Light. Temperature. Atmosphere. Soil. pH. Climate.

 

Ecology of populations:

• Dispersion of organisms in space. Aggregated, random, uniform spatial distributions. Estimation of the densities and the number of individuals in a population. Elementary growth of a population. Tables of mortality and fertility. Accrual rates. Exponential and logistic models. Distribution of ages in a population. Mortality and survival curves. Trophic networks and population stability. Intra- and interspecific relationships. Competition. Gause principle and competition models.

 

Community ecology:

• Area-species curve. Model of equilibrium, area and distance effects. Concepts of habitat and ecological niche. Populations and communities in ecological gradients. Ecotones and "margin effect" concept. Climate concept. Ecological successions. Elements of analysis of the community structure. Diversity and evenness.

 

biomes:

• Terrestrial biomes: tundra, boreal forest, temperate forest, prairie, Mediterranean biome, desert, savannah, rainforest, mountain, caves. Aquatic, marine and freshwater biomes.

 

Man and the environment:

• Biodiversity: scales and values. Anthropogenic impacts on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems and on the atmosphere. Sustainability and the systemic approach to environmental problems. Case studies.

RECOMMENDED READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY

Available (downloadable from Aulaweb or from the teacher). Power Point of lessons and scientific articles.

Some recommended texts:

Smith & Smith, Elementi di ecologia, Pearson.

Townsend, Harper, Begon, L'essenziale di ecologia, Zanichelli

TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

Ricevimento: The reception of the students will be arranged directly with the teacher.

Exam Board

MARIACHIARA CHIANTORE (President)

MARIO PETRILLO

CRISTINA MISIC

LESSONS

Teaching methods

The teaching consists of lectures.

Lectures in the classroom are delivered through multimedia presentations.

LESSONS START

The lessons of the first semester will start from September 23, 2019, and will be completed by January 17, 2020. The lessons of the second semester will start from February 17, 2020 and will be completed by June 12, 2020. Refer to the detailed timetable below link: https://easyacademy.unige.it/portalestudenti/

ORARI

L'orario di tutti gli insegnamenti è consultabile su EasyAcademy.

Vedi anche:

PRINCIPLES OF ECOLOGY

EXAMS

Exam description

The exam consists of an oral test concerning the topics covered in the course. The exam is passed if the student has obtained a grade greater than or equal to 18/30.

Five appeals will be available in the summer session (June, July, September) and 2 calls in the winter session (January-February).

Assessment methods

Details on how to prepare for the exam and the degree of detail required for each topic will be provided during the lessons.

The exam will verify the actual acquisition of knowledge, which the student will have to be able to connect and integrate. The ability to synthesize and recognize the main aspects of the topic will be evaluated and the ability to expose the arguments clearly and with correct terminology will also be considered.

Exam schedule

Date Time Location Type Notes
08/07/2020 10:00 GENOVA Orale
22/07/2020 10:00 GENOVA Orale
03/09/2020 10:00 GENOVA Orale
17/09/2020 10:00 GENOVA Orale

FURTHER INFORMATION

Frequency is recommended.