Learning outcomes of the course unit
GOALS:The Ecology course aims to provide the scientific foundations on which the evolution of ecological research during the last century has been connoted, bearing in mind the increasingly marked professional characteristics that naturalists will be able to take on as regards the problems of management and conservation of environmental resources.
PREREQUISITES:Essential basic knowledge of mathematics, statistics, physics, general and inorganic chemistry, zoology and botany.
Course contents summary
-Tradition and present state of ecology in Italy and at international level.
-Ecological research at various levels of organization of life: populations, communities and ecosystems, landscape, biosphere.
-Ecology and biology of populations: population structure and dynamics, life cycles and strategies, interactions between populations, predation and competition.
-Ecology of communities: community structure and dynamics, species diversity and stability, ecological succession.
-Ecology of ecosystems: energy flows and biogeochemical cycles, production and decomposition, disturbance-biodiversity-ecosystem functional interactions, ecological integrity indicators.
-Characterization of the most important types of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.
-Some ecology trends applied to the management of the natural capital of ecosystems: assessment of environmental impact, sustainable development and responsible use of resources, conservation of the resources of nature and the environment, environmental planning.
-Design and experimentation of teaching and educational activities.
BIBLIOGRAPHY:Odum E.P. 1988 Basi di Ecologia. Piccin Padova 544 pp.
Odum E.P. 1994 Ecologia per il nostro ambiente minacciato. Piccin Padova 275 pp.
Provini A., S. Galassi, R. Marchetti 1998. Ecologia Applicata. UTET Torino 1190 pp.
Ricklefs R.E. 1999. L'ecologia della natura. Zanichelli Bologna 630 pp.
Ferrari C. 2001. Biodiversita. Dall'analisi alla gestione. Zanichelli Bologna 136 pp.
Ghetti P.F. 2002. Elementi di Ecologia. Cleup Padova 333 pp.
Chelazzi G., A. Provini, G. Santini 2004. Ecologia dagli organismi agli ecosistemi. Casa Editrice Ambrosiana 341 pp.
TEACHING_METHODS:Classroom lectures are decidedly prevalent. A few hours are dedicated to exercises and to seminars on research regarding cases of particular scientific importance. Assessment is by written test, consisting of numerous questions on the main content of the course, and is completed by a discussion on the replies given by the students.