Vegetation diversity in natural and anthropogenics habitats in Emilia-Romagna

Credits: 
3
Site: 
PARMA
Year of erogation: 
2021/2022
Unit Coordinator: 
Disciplinary Sector: 
Environmental and Applied Botanics
Semester: 
Second semester
Year of study: 
3
Language of instruction: 

Italian

Learning outcomes of the course unit

Plant biodiversity and the coexistence patterns of plant species are essential elements for the interpretation of the landscape and for the interpretation of natural or anthropogenic phenomena that transform the environment around us. The ability to describe the plant landscape is central in naturalistic studies, but also in environmental impact studies, which aim to assess the status quo and the impacts of human-generated transformations. Knowing how to use plant species as indicators of patterns and processes is an extraordinarily powerful tool for understanding what has happened in the recent past and what are the dynamics that are occurring in natural environments. Students will learn to recognize the main plant communities present in the territory, to discriminate between one plant community and another on the basis of the species present, to interpret the ecological and biogeographical drivers that determine their assembly and, finally, to synthesize this knowledge for their application in the contexts in which they will operate professionally.

Prerequisites

No prerequisite.

Course contents summary

The course aims to provide students with the basic elements for the floristic and vegetational study of a territory and to provide them with the basic elements to understand the natural patterns and recognize the drivers that determine the presence and coexistence of species and of plant communities. Recognizing the message provided by plant species will allow students to obtain very important information on the state of conservation of the environments and to obtain information on the processes in progress.
During the course we will focus on natural and semi-natural environments, which constitute the best training ground for learning, but we will also deepen the study of agroecosystems, in which anthropic activities act by profoundly modifying biodiversity.

Course contents

A. INTRODUCTION AND BASIC CONCEPTS
a.1 - The flora.
a.2 - Plant communities.
a.3 - The vegetation.
a.4 - The landscape.

B. METHODS OF STUDY OF PLANT BIODIVERSITY
b.1 - Floristic reliefs. Creation of a floristic checklist.
b.2 - Vegetational surveys.
b.3 - Floristic and vegetation monitoring.

C. PLANT BIODIVERSITY IN NATURAL ENVIRONMENTS
c.1 - Plant biodiversity in the world, in Italy and in Emilia-Romagna.
c.2 - General patterns of biodiversity distribution (latitudinal and altitudinal) and underlying mechanisms.
c.3 - Vegetation zones and bands in Italy. Zonal, zonal and extrazonal vegetation. Primary and secondary vegetation. Biodiversity driver.

D. BIODIVERSITY IN ANTHROPIZED ENVIRONMENTS
d.1 - Anthropized environments: agricultural environments and urban environments.
d.2 - Forest ecosystems: a particular type of anthropized environment.

E. SPECIAL PART: THE MAIN VEGETATION TYPES IN EMILIA-ROMAGNA
e.1 - Forest habitats.
e.2 - Alpine and subalpine habitats.
e.3 - Some azonal habitats: springs, peat bogs, cliffs and scree.

F. EXERCISES AND EXCURSIONS
Exercises in the field and in the laboratory aimed at observing the most common types of vegetation in the area and recognizing the typical species of each type

Recommended readings

Didactic material provided by the teacher.

"Geobotanica" in Strasburger E. Trattato di Botanica, parte sistematica. Antonio Delfino Editore

Ubaldi D. Geobotanica e Fitosociologia. CLUEB.

Pignatti S. Ecologia vegetale. UTET.

Teaching methods

Lectures aimed at building terminology and basic concepts, exercises in the field and in the laboratory to learn how to detect flora and vegetation, excursions in nature to apply the proposed motedologies, learn to recognize the types of vegetation characteristic of a territory and to identify and recognize the dominant and characteristic species.

Assessment methods and criteria

The verification of learning will be carried out through an oral exam on the contents and through a multimedia presentation made by the students who will work in small groups and will tell, in the classroom, the characteristics of a particular type of vegetation observed in the field.