Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course aims at enabling the students to: 1) interpret vegetation landscape; 2) understand relationships between plants and environment.
Learnings of general botany, plant physiology and plant systematics are requested.
Course contents summary
1) Principles and methods of Geobotany
The concepts of flora and vegetation. The floristic research: methods and applications.
a) The concept of distribution area. Definition and representation of distribution areas. Floristic cartography. Characters of distribution areas: range, continuity, specific density, localization. Some examples of distribution areas of families and genera of vascular plants.
b) The chorological elements or chorotypes: definition and study methods. The statistical approach to the chorotypes: chorograms and isoporial maps. The concept of endemism. Vicarious, relict and heterotopic species. The chorotypes of the Italian flora. The chorological spectra.
c) Floristic territories. Methods for defining natural floristic territorial units. Floristic kingdoms, regions, provinces and districts. Floristic regionalization of Europe and Italy.
d) Modifications of distribution areas in time. Regression of distribution areas and extinction of taxa. Expansion of distribution areas. Naturalized, adventitious and acclimatated plants. Migrations of plants. Principal methodologies of historical phytogeography. Origin and evolution of flora and vegetation during Paleophytic, Mesophytic and Neophytic.
3) Plant Ecology
a) The climatic parameters. Light, temperature, water and precipitations, wind and their effects on plant life and geographical distribution. The climate at different scale levels: macroclimate, mesoclimate, microclimate. Bioclimatic indexes. The climatic diagrams. b) The edaphic parameters. Soil-vegetation relationships. Halophytes, nitrophytes and metallophytes. Calciphilous and calcifugous plants. c) Fire and its effects on vegetation and soil. e) Life forms and growth forms. Life form spectra. biologici. Ecological races and ecotypes.
Larcher W., 1995. Physiological Plant Eclogy. Springer, Berlin.
Longhitano N., 1991. Fitogeografia con elementi di ecologia vegetale. CUECM, Catania.
Ozenda P., 1982. Les végétaux dans la biosphère. Doin Editeurs, Paris.
Pignatti S., 1994. Ecologia del paesaggio. UTET, Torino.
Pignatti S., 1995. Ecologia vegetale. UTET, Torino.
Ubaldi D., 2003. Flora, fitocenosi e ambiente. Elementi di Geobotanica e Fitosociologia. CLUEB, Bologna.
Oral lectures and field practice.