Methods in applied ecology

A.Y. 2017/2018
Overall hours
Learning objectives
Provide fundamentals on the main issues related to environmental pollution and the potential consequences on natural ecosystems.
Expected learning outcomes
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
Course syllabus
The course aims to evaluate the main issues related to anthropic pollution and the potential consequences on natural ecosystems. The attention will be focused on the issues of the main ecosystem compartments.
Atmosphere: Effects of natural emissions and anthropic activity on the atmosphere composition and the dynamics that regulate its components. Detailed study of air pollution, diffusion, transport and deposition of airborne pollutants. Effects of air pollution at the global scale: acid rain, smog, greenhouse effect alteration and global warming, thinning of the ozone layer. Urban pollution and effects on humans and living organisms. Indoor pollution.
Hydrosphere: Water pollution, sources and processes that regulate the distribution of contaminants. Eutrophication and chemical pollution, emerging contaminants (pharmaceutical and personal care products, drugs of abuse). Effects of contaminants on aquatic organisms (Extended biotic index, ecotoxicological tests, biomarkers). Techniques of wastewater treatment, phytodepuration and biofiltration. Biomanipulation of eutrophic ecosystems. Marine pollution (oil spills, plastics and warfare residual).
Lithosphere: Factors and processes of pedogenesis. Sources of degradation and pollution of the soil. Green Revolution and Sustainable Agriculture. Biological pest control. The problem of solid waste.
Biosphere and biodiversity conservation: Biodiversity, alien species and loss of biodiversity.

Reference Material:
1) Provini, Galassi, Marchetti. Ecologia Applicata (CittàStudi Edizioni)
2) Cunningham, Cunningham, Saigo. Ecologia Applicata (Mc Graw Hill Eds.)
3) Galassi, Ferrari, Viaroli. Introduzione all'Ecologia Applicata (CittàStudi Edizioni)

Prerequisites and examination procedures: Students are expected to have basic knowledge of ecology. The exam consists of two parts: students have to choose a scientific paper on a topic included in the program of the course and to prepare an oral communication. Discussion of the results in the context of the topics addressed in the course.

Teaching Methods: Lessons with slides. The slides will be published in ARIEL website.

Language of instruction: Italian

Recommended Prerequisites: Ecology

Program information: Information about the program are available in ARIEL website

WEB pages:
BIO/07 - ECOLOGY - University credits: 6
Lessons: 48 hours
Professor: Parolini Marco