Degree course: 
Corso di Second cycle degree in ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Course type: 
Supplementary compulsory subjects
Second semester
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (28 hours), Exercise (40 hours)

There are no prerequisites required, however students should be familiar with basic concepts of Systematic Botany, Environmental Botany, Ecology, Geographical Information Systems. Knowledge of English language is recommended, since part of the technical documentation is in English.

Final assessment takes place through a oral exam which consists of 4 questions and the discussion of the documents produced during the practical activities. The vote scored out of a maximum of 30 points (with the minimum of 18 points to pass the exam).
The examination will assess: i) adequate level of knowledge and comprehension of the topics and tools covered during the course linking the different topics and showing a critical approach (70%); ii) ability of answering questions in a synthetic way and with a clarity of expression (15%); and iii) use of an appropriate scientific language (15%).

Voto Finale

The course aims to provide theoretical and practical knowledge about Italian and European vegetation and habitats of Directive 92/43 / EEC (Habitat Directive) for conservation of plant biodiversity and management protected areas, in particular those included the Natura 2000 network.
The first objective of the course is to provide the conceptual basis of vegetation science and phytosociology for the identification of plant communities, the estimation of their state of conservation and the definition of the ecological factors acting on them.
Subsequently, the course aims to provide operational tools for land planning, for designing and implementing actions for the conservation and management of plant heritage and landscape, for the fulfillment of procedures prescribed by current legislation, in particular by the Habitats Directive.
At the end of the course the student is expected to have acquired the following skills:
-knowledge of the framework of European vegetation and habitats;
-capability to implement procedures for the identification, sampling, monitoring and cartographic representation of vegetation and habitats;
-capability to process floristic and vegetational data for the evaluation of the conservation status of vegetation and habitats;
-capability to identify ecological factors, pressures and threats affecting vegetation and habitats and enforcement of measures for plant biodiversity conservation;
-capability to implement the technical procedures related to Habitats Directive and Natura 2000 Network.

Course contents will be delivered in three ways:
Lectures for 28 hours (14 taught classes, 3.5 CFU)
Field training for 32 hours for data gathering (4 practical field classes, 2.0 credits)
Laboratory training for data analysis (1 practical lab class, 0.5 CFU)
Basic knowledge of vegetation science and Habitat Directive (6 hours)
Concept of plant formation, community, association and habitat. Phytosociological method and classification of vegetation.
Vegetation survey and analysis.
Groups of habitats of community interest (Annex I) and interpretation manuals
Introduction to European vegetation and habitats (12 hours)
Aquatic and riparian vegetation and habitats
Bogs vegetation and habitats
Grassland vegetation and habitats
Shrub and rock vegetation and habitats
Forest vegetation and habitats
Coastal and Mediterranean vegetation and habitats
Vegetation and habitats sampling, monitoring, evaluation and management (10 hours)
Cartography of vegetation and habitats
Vegetation and habitat planning and monitoring techniques
Assessment of the conservation status of vegetation and habitats
Ecological factors, pressures and threats. Measures for the conservation of plant biodiversity and habitats
Habitat Directive and Natura 2000 Network and related technical procedures
Field activities for vegetation and habitats sampling (32 hours)
Herbaceous vegetation survey
Forest vegetation survey
Wetland vegetation survey
Vegetation mapping survey
Laboratory activities for the analysis of gathered data (8 hours)
Data entry and analysis

Presentations of the lessons are available to students in pdf format on the e-learning platform of the course. On the e-learning platform will also be made available manuals, reports and scientific articles of interest and lists of useful sites.
Angelini P., Casella L., Grignetti A., Genovesi P. (eds) 2016 Manuali per il monitoraggio di specie e habitat di interesse comunitario (Direttiva 92/43/CEE) in Italia: habitat. ISPRA, Serie Manuali e linee guida, 142/2016
DG Environment 2017 Reporting under Article 17 of the Habitats Directive: Explanatory notes and guidelines for the period 2013-2018. Brussels. Pp 188
EC 2013 Interpretation Manual of European Union Habitats - EUR28
Genovesi P., Angelini P., Bianchi E., Dupré E., Ercole S., Giacanelli V., Ronchi F., Stoch F. 2014 Specie e habitat di interesse comunitario in Italia: distribuzione, stato di conservazione e trend. ISPRA, Serie Rapporti, 194/2014
Suggested texts for further information on vegetation:
Blasi C., Biondi E. (2017) La flora in Italia. MATTM - Sapienza Università Editrice, Roma
Ellenberg H. (2009) Vegetation Ecology of Central Europe. Cambridge University Press
Ozenda P. (1994) Végétation du Continent Européen. Delachaux et Niestlè
Polunin O., Walters M. (1987) Guida alle vegetazioni d'Europa. Zanichelli

The course is based on 14 lectures (videoconference Como - Varese) for a total of 28 hours. All the topics will be presented using slides available in e-learning.
On the request of students, at the beginning of each lesson teacher will provide clarifications and insights on topics covered in the previous lessons. It will also be possible to ask for clarification at any time during the lessons or by appointment agreed by e-mail.
The course will also include 32 hours of field practical activities, dealing with vegetation and habitats survey possibly within protected areas, and 8 hours of lab practical activities, dealing with data entry and analysis.
Depending on the available funding, the field activities may be held as four consecutive days with overnight stays in an Italian protected area, or as four single days with departure from and return to Varese or Como University sites.

Students can email to the following address to schedule a meeting with the professor:
DBSV, Via J.H. Dunant 3, Varese