Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course deals with marine paleoecology and its objective is to show
how fossils can be used for paleoenviromental reconstruction at level of
individual, population and community.
Course contents summary
- Definitions and subdivision of paleoecology; relationships between
ecology and paleoecology);
- Basic concepts of ecology and the marine ecosystem (physical
environments, life modes and trophic strategies of marine organisms);
- Environmental control on organism distribution in the marine
- Taxonomic uniformism and functional morphology;
- Fossils as environmental indicators;
- Paleoenviromental reconstruction at population and community levels;
- Quantitative analysis of fossils assemblages;
- Applications: examples of paleoenviromental/paleoceanographic and
paleoclimatic reconstructions based on foraminifera.
1)Brenchley P.J. & Harper D.A.T., 1998. Palaeoecology: ecosystem,
environments and evolution. Chapman & Hall.
2)Goldring R., 1991. Fossils in the field. Information potential and
analysis. Longman Scientific &Technical.
3)Raffi S. & Serpagli E., 1993. Introduzione alla Paleontologia. Utet.
4)Murray J.W., 1993. Ecology and paleoecology of benthic foraminifera.
Longman Scientific &Technical.
5)Murray J., 2006. Ecology and Applications of benthic foraminifera.
Cambridge University Press.
6)Pinet P.R., 2006. Invitation to Oceanography. Jones & Bartlett.
7)Odum E.P., 1988. Basi di Ecologia. Piccin Editore.
oral and practical lesson
Assessment methods and criteria