SEASCAPE ECOLOGY

SEASCAPE ECOLOGY

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iten
Last update 20/06/2021 14:24
Code
65648
ACADEMIC YEAR
2021/2022
CREDITS
6 credits during the 1st year of 10723 MARINE BIOLOGY AND ECOLOGY (LM-75) GENOVA
SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR
BIO/07
LANGUAGE
Italian
TEACHING LOCATION
GENOVA (MARINE BIOLOGY AND ECOLOGY)
semester
1° Semester
modules
This unit is a module of:
Teaching materials

AIMS AND CONTENT

LEARNING OUTCOMES

This teaching aims to define the seascape ecology and to explain ecological processes and spatial organization. Fractal theory, connection and connectivity, metapopulations and metacomunities will be explained. A mention will be made to the scale, extension and resolution of maps. The importance of marine spatial planning will be emphasized. Examples will be given of semiotics and diagnostics of the seascape, of marine environmental cartography, of diachronic cartography. The seascape indices and their importance in the field of environmental monitoring and evaluation of the status of coastal marine habitats will be described. The main methods of remote sensing, acoustic techniques, and sea truth will be introduced Particular focus will be made to those habitats of priority conservation interest in the European Union, such as: Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadows, estuaries and lagoons, reefs, submerged or semi-submerged marine caves. Finally, the principles and methods of cartographic restitution of the seascape and Geographic Information Systems for the analysis and management of the seascape will be explained.

AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES

This teaching aims to define the seascape ecology and to explain ecological processes and spatial organization. Fractal theory, connection and connectivity, metapopulations and metacomunities will be explained. A mention will be made to the scale, extension and resolution of maps. The importance of marine spatial planning will be emphasized. Examples will be given of semiotics and diagnostics of the seascape, of marine environmental cartography, of diachronic cartography. The seascape indices and their importance in the field of environmental monitoring and evaluation of the status of coastal marine habitats will be described. The main methods of remote sensing, acoustic techniques, and sea truth will be introduced Particular focus will be made to those habitats of priority conservation interest in the European Union, such as: Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadows, estuaries and lagoons, reefs, submerged or semi-submerged marine caves. Finally, the principles and methods of cartographic restitution of the seascape and Geographic Information Systems for the analysis and management of the seascape will be explained.

Teaching methods

The teaching consists of lectures and exercises done in the classroom.
Lectures in the classroom are delivered through multimedia presentations. As there is no reference text adopted, class attendance is strongly recommended. The student can make use of the material made available on Aulaweb. For the first semester, classes will be carried out in the presence, however guaranteeing the fruition of the lessons even remotely, through video recording, synchronous or asynchronous if necessary. All face-to-face activities will be carried out in compliance with the capacity limits of the classrooms and the distance provided for by the current legislation following the emergency COVID19.

Exercises are carried out regularly in class for the application of the acquired knowledge, attendance at lectures and exercises is thus strongly recommended. The exercises also constitute a self-evaluation test.  The planned exercises are:
Exercise 1: Connectivity

Exercise 2: Polygonal

Exercise 3: Transect topography

Exercise 4: Habitat suitability lagoons

Exercise 5: Posidonia density

Exercise 6: Phenology and epiphytism Posidonia

Exercise 7: Transect bionomy

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

SYLLABUS/CONTENT

The program includes:

Introduction: definitions and areas of seascape ecology. Criticism of the model of population growth. Environmental heterogeneity and functioning of ecosystems (principle of incompatibility of the necessary processes). Differences with experimental ecology. The concept of landscape. Differences between disciplinary fields (geomorphology, botany, architecture, ecology, etc.). Birth of the concept of landscape. Background. The landscape according to the European community. Notes on community and national regulations. Importance of ​​perception and seascape ecology. The seascape approach to environmental issues. Notion of territory. The sea as a territory and the problem of the multiple needs of use of the marine territory; operational, administrative, conceptual difficulties. Management of the maritime domain. Marine spatial planning. Principles and methods of seascape ecology. The seascape as a system of ecosystems. Complexity of the environmental mosaic, hierarchical and spatial aspects, structures, processes, changes. Space configuration. Environmental scale and heterogeneity. Components of the scale: extension and resolution. Typology of the elements of the territorial mosaic. patches, matrices, corridors. Description, geometry and size of the patches. Fractal theory and its applications in seascape ecology. Central areas and edges, edge effect. Ecotones and ecoclins. Heterogeneity, fragmentation, homogenization. Disorder and fragmentation. Landscape indices. Metapopulation and related models, source and sink dynamics. Metacommunity and related models: neutral; patch dynamics; species sorting; mass effect. Connection and connectivity. Relations between ecosystems: dilution, scalar transition, marginal contacts. Review of supply side ecology. Spatially explicit criteria. Genetic distances, ecological distances and geographical distances. Models of dispersion: circulation models vs life-traits. Semivariograms and autocorrelograms.

Seascape cartography. Principles and aims of bionomic cartography. Background. Tradition in the Mediterranean: the French school. Current state of knowledge and achievements. Meaning and use of diachronic cartography; concordance and discordance maps. Basic cartography: projections, ellipsoid and reference systems, coordinates. Italian cartography of reference: maps of the Hydrographic Institute of the Navy (IIM), maps of the Military Geographical Institute (IGM), Regional Technical Maps (CTR); cadastral maps; notes on other maps, with particular reference to the British Admiralty maps. Differences between nautical and land charts: distance measurement, orientation, coastline. Zero measurement: instantaneous, average (mean sea level), altimetric, hydrographic (absolute, average), biological. Planning and positioning of the marine thematic cartographic survey. Sampling design: complete area coverage, transects, point surveys; uniform, casual, layered arrangement. Positioning: GPS (Global Positioning System) satellite system, differential GPS, compass, theodolite and geodimeter, notes on distance measuring radio systems, underwater positioning.

Remote sensing. Satellite techniques (Landsat, SPOT, Ikonos, new generation satellites). Aerial photo: applications and limitations. Airborne sensors (Lidar, CASI). Drones (UAV: Unmanned Aerial Vehicle). Acoustic methods: applications and limitations. Singlebeam. Primary echo and secondary echo. The RoxAnn integrated system. Side scan sonar. Multibeam. DEM (Digital Elevation Model). Backscatter. Concept of acoustic region / facies. Notes on autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV). Sea truth. Point sampling, applicability to cartographic purposes. Remote controlled video systems. Towed cameras and Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). Autonomous scuba diving for sea truth. Underwater surveys for cartographic purposes. Depth transects (maximum variance) and parallel transects (minimum variance). Quick and instrumental surveys. Underwater scooters. Topographic, morphological and bionomic surveys. Drawn of the profile of a transect. Polygonal (basic and derivative). Point sampling and interpolation techniques: empirical methods, probabilistic methods, deterministic methods. Geostatistics: kriging, Tobler's law, theory of regionalized variables, TSA (Trend Surface Analysis). Integrated surveys and emerging techniques. Current detection standard. Integration between different methods. Data acquisition and processing to produce a map. Emerging techniques. Three-dimensional survey and photogrammetry. Structure from Motion.

GIS (Geographical Information System) and its use for the analysis and management of the seascape. Geometrical elements (points, lines, polygons) and attributes. Databases. Topological analysis. Vector and raster. Pixel. Georeferencing. Standard GIS functions. Layers and overlay procedures. Vectorization. Nominal scale and digital cartography. Metadata. Notes on habitat suitability modeling. Predictive models of habitat and species distribution. ENFA model and the concept of marginality and specialization.

Semiotics and diagnostics of the seascape. Identify and qualify seascapes. Bionomic approach. Concept of biocenosis. Recalls on the identification criteria of the population units: physiognomy, dominance, fidelity. Definition of typologies: the Nouveau Manuel (and subsequent additions to the Endoume school), and the UNEP / MAP-RAC / SPA (Regional Activity Center for Specially Protected Areas) classifications, and EuNIS (European Nature Information System). Definition of habitats and reference habitats. Community directives: Habitat (1992); Water Framework (2000); Marine Strategy Framework (2008). The Habitat Notebooks of the Ministry of the Environment and other relevant publications. Ecosystem-based management. Concepts of Good Environmental Status (GES) and seafloor integrity. Approach to the habitat, with particular reference to the habitats of conservation interest of the European Union. Biogenic reefs: coralligenous, Sabellaria reefs, Cladocora reefs. Diagnostic indicators (compliance and early warning).

Indicators and indices. Criteria for the definition of the ecosystem status (ecosystem status assessment): expert judgment, biotic indices; comparison with the reference community. The sliding baseline syndrome (SBS) problem. Composed indices, definition of reference conditions: pristine areas (or protected areas), historical data, models. Method of aggregation. Ecological Quality Ratio (EQR) concept. Indices adopted by ISPRA and regional environmental agencies: M-AMBI (Multivariate - Azti Marine Biotic Index), BITS (Benthic Index based on Taxonomic Sufficiency), PREI (Posidonia Rapid Easy Index), CARLIT (CARtography of LITtoral and upper-sublittoral benthic communities). Examples of other indices not adopted by Italian legislation.

Estuaries and lagoons. Physical and ecological definitions; etymology. Concept of transition waters. Typology of the Italian lagoons. Multiple needs for the use of the lagoon area. Characteristics of lagoon ecosystems. Euryaline, stenoalinity, mixoalinity; peciloalinity and homhalinity. Concepts of horohalinicum and Artenminimum. Venice system: fresh water, oligoaline, mesoaline, polyaline, eualine and hyperaline. Bionomic criterion. Paralic domain. Confinement and its measurement. Vivification, marinization. Critique of the confinement theory and a multifactorial approach. Bioclimatic classification of Italian lagoons: sub-Atlantic lagoons and Eumediterranean (mesomediterranean and xeromediterranean) lagoons.

Posidonia meadows. Notes on the importance of marine phanerogams and species present in the Mediterranean. Current dynamics and causes of regression. State of seagrass meadows in Liguria. Reforestation interventions. Levels of study: plant, meadow, associated community, seascape. Phenology: biometric measurements, and derived indices. Notes on the evaluation of flowering. Notes on lepidocronology. Morphology of the meadows. Types of limit: shaded, sharp, eroded; healthy limits and regressive limits. Coverage, density. Meadow stage, absolute or as a function of depth. Leaf Area Index or LAI. Coefficient A, grazing index, epiphytism index. Associated communities. Main grazers and epiphytes. Concepts of conservation, fragmentation, substitution and phase shift and related synthetic seascape indices.

Rocky reefs. Spatial definition and zoning: sectors, sets, depth zones. Supralittoral, midlittoral (upper horizon, lower horizon), infralittoral fringe. Tide pools and rock pools. Concept of biological zero and its applications. Infralittoral: upper, middle, lower. Hydrodynamic model from Riedl. Trend of light, hydrodynamics and temperature. Photophilic, hemiphotophilic, anti-sciaphilous and sciaphilous algal populations. Zoocianellated and zooxanthellated animals. Facies of overgrazing (barren). Circalittoral: precoralligenous and coralligenous. Bioconstructors and biodistructors. Importance of filtrators. Different environmental significance of basal, intermediate and upper layers. Deep coralligenous. Elements of environmental diagnostics and indicator species.

Submerged or semi-submerged marine caves. Definition. Geological characters and origin. Bio-ecological characteristics: flora and fauna aspects (composition of the population, disappearance of plants, dominance of sessile fauna, role of vagile fauna); evolutionary aspects (colonization of caves, cryptic or bathyphilic species and secondary troglobiosis, marginal or anchialine caves); biocenotic aspects (typology and distribution of different populations, semi-dark caves or GSO and dark caves or GO); ecological aspects (environmental parameters and structure of assemblages, light, hydrodynamics, hydrological confinement, trophic depletion). Cultural and scientific characteristics: charm, mystery and myth; affinities and parallels between underwater caves and deep environments.

Analysis of the seascape. Principles and methods of cartographic restitution of the seascape. Detection scale and restitution scale. Criteria for choosing the scale and relative implications. Type of legends: conceptual and practical aspects. Population unit (habitat). Significant species (characteristics of biocenosis; indicators; others); protected species. Dynamics. Bionomic and territorial maps. Characters of the marine environment: morphobathimetric and sedimentological map, biocoenosis map, map of natural emergencies. Assessment of the marine environment: marine environment degradation and risk map, marine environment vulnerability map, marine environment quality map, marine environment susceptibility to use map.

RECOMMENDED READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY

The adoption of a reference text is not envisaged. Available (downloadable from Aulaweb) a copy of the presentations used during the classes, didactic material and scientific articles for further information. The teaching material is therefore made up of personal notes and the material available on Aulaweb.

As a reference text, to integrate the contents of the lessons, the following is recommended:
O. Musard, L. Le Dû-Blayo, P. Francour, J.P. Beurier, E. Feunteun, L. Talassinos. Underwater Seascapes. From Geographical to Ecological Perspectives. Springer International Publishing, 291 pp. ISBN 978-3-319-03439-3

TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

Ricevimento: Students are received by appointment, agreed directly with the teacher by telephone (0103538065), by email (monica.montefalcone@unige.it) or via Aulaweb.

LESSONS

Teaching methods

The teaching consists of lectures and exercises done in the classroom.
Lectures in the classroom are delivered through multimedia presentations. As there is no reference text adopted, class attendance is strongly recommended. The student can make use of the material made available on Aulaweb. For the first semester, classes will be carried out in the presence, however guaranteeing the fruition of the lessons even remotely, through video recording, synchronous or asynchronous if necessary. All face-to-face activities will be carried out in compliance with the capacity limits of the classrooms and the distance provided for by the current legislation following the emergency COVID19.

Exercises are carried out regularly in class for the application of the acquired knowledge, attendance at lectures and exercises is thus strongly recommended. The exercises also constitute a self-evaluation test.  The planned exercises are:
Exercise 1: Connectivity

Exercise 2: Polygonal

Exercise 3: Transect topography

Exercise 4: Habitat suitability lagoons

Exercise 5: Posidonia density

Exercise 6: Phenology and epiphytism Posidonia

Exercise 7: Transect bionomy

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

LESSONS START

Classes will start in the week between 4-8 October 2021. Please refer to the AulaWeb specific teaching for any updates and changes in the calendar of the classes.

EXAMS

Exam description

The exam consists of an oral test. The exam will begin with the exposure of a scientific article provided in the material for further study (preferably exposed with a short digital presentation, e.g. in power point or similar), and will continue with further 2/3 questions posed by the teacher on topics covered during the course. There will be 2 exam sessions in the winter session (January-February) and 5 exam sessions in the summer session (June, July, September).

Please refer to the AulaWeb specific teaching request 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 at the beginning of the course and confirmed during the classes. The oral exam will mainly focus on the topics covered during the lectures and will aim to assess the achievement of the appropriate level of knowledge. The ability to present the topics clearly and with correct terminology will also be evaluated. The oral exam starts from the critical report on a scientific article (among those provided and available on Aulaweb, introduced with a short presentation) to evaluate the ability to understand a scientific text dealing with marine seascape ecology and to elaborate landscape information based on the knowledge of the fundamentals of subject, of the propensity to link the various topics, and the application aspects. The completeness and correctness of the exercises proposed during classes will also be positively evaluated to those who will have done them and will take them to be evaluated during the exam.

FURTHER INFORMATION

Regular class attendance is strongly recommended as a reference text is not used for this course. Furthermore, in class, practical exercises and self-evaluation tests will be carried out periodically.