ECOLOGY

ECOLOGY

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iten
Code
67081
ACADEMIC YEAR
2020/2021
CREDITS
6 credits during the 2nd year of 8762 Biological Sciences (L-13) GENOVA
SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR
BIO/07
LANGUAGE
Italian
TEACHING LOCATION
GENOVA (Biological Sciences)
semester
1° Semester
Prerequisites
Teaching materials

OVERVIEW

Ecology is the science that studies the complex relationships between organisms and the environment in which they live and which highlights and analyses the mutual influences of the living and non-living component in ecosystems.

AIMS AND CONTENT

LEARNING OUTCOMES

The aim of the subject is to provide students with basic knowledge concerning the characteristics and functioning of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, adaptations of organisms to the environment in which they live and the structure and dynamics of populations and communities.

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 along the hierarchical scale of ecological organization, from the mechanisms underlying biodiversity (evolutionary ecology), passing through the adaptations of plant and animal organisms to the environment (autoecology), to population dynamics (demoecology), up to the structure and functioning of communities and ecosystems (synecology).

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

PREREQUISITES

There are no specific prerequisites, but basic knowledge of zoology is recommended to effectively address the teaching content.

Teaching methods

For the first semester, the lessons will be carried out if possible in the presence, however guaranteeing the fruition of the lessons even remotely, through video recording, synchronous or asynchronous, Team Based Learning activities, auto-assessment questionnaires.

All face-to-face activities will be carried out in compliance with the capacity limits of the classrooms / laboratories and the distance provided for by the current legislation following the emergency COVID19.

Please refer to the specific AulaWeb application for teaching for any updates due to changes in the health and epidemiological situation.

SYLLABUS/CONTENT

The teaching program provides for the presentation and discussion of the following topics:

Introduction to ecology

• Notes on the history of ecological thinking. Ecology and environmentalism.

• Natural Selection and Evolution.

 

Autoecology

• The physical environment: climate, soil, water, limiting factors.

• Adaptations of plant organisms.

• Adaptations of animal organisms.

 

Population ecology

• Dispersion of organisms in space. Aggregate, random, uniform spatial distributions.

• Estimate of the density and number of individuals in a population.

• Elementary growth of a population. Mortality and fertility tables. Growth rates. Exponential and logistic models. Distribution of ages in a population. Mortality and survival curves.

• Intra- and interspecific relations. Competition, predation, symbiosis. Gause principle and competition models.

 

Community ecology

• Elements of analysis of the structure of the communities. Diversity and evenness. Species-area curve.

• Balance model, area and distance effects. Habitat and ecological niche concepts.

• Populations and communities in ecological gradients. Ecotones and the "margin effect" concept. Climax concept. Ecological successions.

• Metapopulations and metacommunities.

 

Ecosystems ecology

• Ecosystem concept. Ecosystem structure.

• Fundamental concepts of energy. Food chains. Trophic networks. Trophic levels.

• Primary production. Grazing and detritus food chains. Trophic structures and ecological pyramids.

• Biomes: tropical rain forest, temperate forest, boreal forest, prairie, savannah, Mediterranean biome, tundra, desert. Aquatic, marine and freshwater, ecosystems. Transitional ecosystems.

• Biogeochemical cycles.

 

Man and the environment

•  Climate changes. Oceanic acidification. Study cases

RECOMMENDED READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY

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

Some recommended texts:

Pusceddu, Sarà & Viaroli, Ecologia, UTET.

Smith & Smith, Elementi di ecologia, Pearson.

TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

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

Exam Board

MARIACHIARA CHIANTORE (President)

GINA DE LA FUENTE MANCEBO

VALENTINA ASNAGHI (President Substitute)

CRISTINA MISIC (Substitute)

LESSONS

Teaching methods

For the first semester, the lessons will be carried out if possible in the presence, however guaranteeing the fruition of the lessons even remotely, through video recording, synchronous or asynchronous, Team Based Learning activities, auto-assessment questionnaires.

All face-to-face activities will be carried out in compliance with the capacity limits of the classrooms / laboratories and the distance provided for by the current legislation following the emergency COVID19.

Please refer to the specific AulaWeb application for teaching for any updates due to changes in the health and epidemiological situation.

LESSONS START

The lessons of the first semester will start from September 21, 2020, and will end by January 22, 2021. The lessons of the second semester will start from February 15, 2021 and will end by June 11, 2021. Consult detailed timetable at the following link: https://easyacademy.unige.it/portalestudenti/

EXAMS

Exam description

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

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

Please refer to the specific AulaWeb application for teaching for any updates due to changes in the health and epidemiological situation.

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
14/06/2021 09:30 GENOVA Orale
28/06/2021 09:30 GENOVA Orale
12/07/2021 09:30 GENOVA Orale
26/07/2021 09:30 GENOVA Orale
13/09/2021 09:30 GENOVA Orale

FURTHER INFORMATION

Frequency is recommended.