Basic knowledge of plant biology, ecology, biological and physical geography.
General aim of the course is the application of ecological and biogeographical principles to the study of plant populations and plant communities. In details, main communities of Italian vegetation are defined and described; tools for their identification and ecological analysis are also provided. Moreover the course deals with basic knowledge about contents of the EU Directive 43/92/EC (Habitat Directive) and about landscape reading, by the mean of plant communities analysis.
The expected learning outcomes mostly regard the capability to investigate and classify plant communities.
As a rule, knowledge acquisition is verified by oral examination. Alternatively, students may ask to undergo to a written test (ten questions with “open” answers). Evaluation is expressed in thirty points. In addition to learning ability, the assessment takes into account the capability to apply skills gained during field trainings.
Life forms, biological interactions and life history. Plant Functional Types and Plant Strategies theories. Ecological optimum and niche concepts applied to plants, environmental factors (mainly soil and climate ones). Phytogeography: world regions and geographical distribution types. Speciation processes, endemism and vicariance. Quaternary history of European flora and vegetation.
Concepts of plant community, plant formation and association. Detection and analysis of vegetation, phytosociology. Climate, bioclimate and natural potential vegetation types of Italy. Vegetation succession and vegetation series.
Coastal and Mediterranean plant communities; riparian and wetland vegetation. Broadleaf forests of lowlands, hills and mountains; montane and subalpine coniferous forests. Tree limit and timberline, vegetation belts and forest regions; principles of forestry. Heath and subalpine shrubs; vegetation of the alpine belt (prairies, snow beds, cliffs and screes). Meadows and pastures, principles of alpine animal husbandry. Habitats under Annex I of the 43/92/EC Directive concerning Alpine and Continental Regions.
Lectures (presentations in pdf format) are made available to students on the e-learning platform.
Pignatti Sandro – 1997 - Ecologia del Paesaggio – UTET, Torino
Ubaldi Davide - 2003 - Flora, fitocenosi e ambiente. Elementi di Geobotanica e Fitosociologia – CLUEB, Bologna
Begon Michael, Harper John L., Townsend Colin R. – 1989 – Ecologia. Individui, popolazioni, comunità – Zanichelli, Bologna