Knowledge of General and Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry and General Ecology is recommended.
Aims and learning outcomes
Concepts, principles and basic laws of ecology are used to evaluate the alterations of the biogeochemical cycles and of ecosystems self-regulation due to human activities. Diagnostic and recovery tools of ecosystems are provided within the framework of existing legislation. Biological methodologies are discussed for quality evaluation and management of ecosystems. Moreover the close link between the management/environmental protection and the economy in order to introduce some of the principles of sustainable development is .
Students at the end of the present course have the theoretical and practical skills about the major changes led by different human activities on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems; they are able to address and discuss different case studies that exemplify the different forms of existing pollution such as eutrophication, acidification, contamination by micro-pollutants of soils and water bodies in populated remote areas. They will demonstrate to know the study methods of biotic and abiotic components of the different environmental compartments, prevention policies and regulatory tools for a better management and recovery of the environment.
The final written exam lasts around an hour and includes three open questions, on the course program; learning of the main concepts taught in class and the ability of their interpretation, communication and application is tested. On request the exam can be also oral. The evaluation of the written or oral test is expressed in /30.
Introduction (8 hours)
Quality and quantity of the resources at a global and regional levels
Water ecosystem (16 hours) ( trophic loads, cultural eutrophication, the problem of toxic algae)
Recovery of aquatic environments (liming, biomanipulation)
Remote environments and acid rain,
organic loads (BOD, COD)
biological wastewater treatment
micropollutants in the aquatic environment
legislative protection of water
Soil ecosystem (16 hours)
characteristics of soils and fauna
land use in agriculture (intensive agriculture and conservation)
legislative protection of soils
Materials and texts
• Ecologia applicata Cunningham, Cunningham, Saigo McGraw Hill
• Ecologia applicata Galassi et al., Citta’ Studi Ed.
• Ecologia applicata Roberto Bargagli Amon Ed
• Microinquinanti organici S. Galassi
• Guida alla conoscenza della biologia e dell’ecologia del suolo, Menta 2008, Perdisa Ed.
• Ecologia delle acque interne Bettinetti, Crosa, Galassi, CittàStudi Ed
• Slides on e-learning platform
• Additional material (articles, videos, web)