Methods in Ecosystem analysis

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
BIO/03 BIO/07 GEO/04
Learning objectives
The course provides knowledge and skills for collecting and analyzing environmental data (geology, geomorphology, flora and vegetation, fauna) aimed to environmental analysis and thematic cartography. The course also aims to teach how to answer to specific professional requests for environmental studies from parks, natural reserves and/or public administrations etc.
Expected learning outcomes
Organization and performing of an environmental study from data collection to final technical report.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Lesson will be given in synchronous modality on ms Teams. Some lessons (contribution of external experts) could be given in asynchronous modality (recorded ppt lessons) on the Ariel website.
Course syllabus and reference material remain unchanged
The oral exam will take place on MS Teams. The remaining parts of the exam (report preparation) and evaluation criteria remain unchanged
Course syllabus
· Collecting data describing the a-biological component of the environment;
· Processing land data to produce thematic maps to be used for land protection and promotion;
· Collecting maps, pictures and historic data to evaluate, promote and use sites of geomorphological interest and to study landscape evolution;
· Finding and analysing geological, geomorphological and geopedological data by field survey and by cartographic analysis, photo-interpretation and remote sensing.
· Producing thematic maps (thematic and applied): geomorphological heritage maps, geomorphological risk/hazard maps, soil maps.
· Land evaluation and its implications for land management.
· Geopedology of ecosystems.
Geomorphological, geoarchaeological and paleontological risk.
· Finding, managing and processing meteorological data; compiling meteo-data base including historical and present data as a tool for planning and managing the territory.

· Collecting data describing the biological component of the enviroment, data processing to produce thematic maps for environmental management:
· Bioclimate: from wheather data to bioclimatic indices; climatic thresholds and potential vegetation.
· Finding of botanical data from existing databases. Sampling and analysis of floristic and vegetation data.
· Vegetation and vegetation series cartography. Floristic and historical cartography.
Indices of botanical quality and of vegetation naturality.
· Indices of landscape quality for environmental management; plant bioindicators
Legislation and management of protected areas: the EEC Habitat and Birds directives. Natura 2000 Network, Management plan of NAtura 2000 sites and Habitat mapping

· Mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and insects as sentinels of environmental quality.
· Database searching for ornithological and herpethological data and local atlases.
· Animal reintroductions: conservation and management issues.
· Water quality and potential fish distribution.
· Botanical and zoological data in forensic sciences.
Prerequisites for admission
Knowledge of the basic concepts of physical geography, geology, botany, zooology, statistics
Teaching methods
Classroom lessons and practical field activities
Teaching Resources
Course slides are available on the ariel website. Specific texts will be provided during the course and are available on the ariel website
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam consists of carrying out a report about a geographic area chosen by the student, including the collection and analysis of environmental data available from sources indicated during the course or from published literature and an original study from original data about a subject chosen by the student.
The report is be evaluated by the teachers of the course and is the basis for the oral discussion. Evaluation criteria take into account the ability of collecting, critically analyzing and synthesizing environmental data. The grades are on a scale of 30
BIO/07 - ECOLOGY - University credits: 0
Practicals with elements of theory: 36 hours
Lessons: 72 hours
Educational website(s)
Upon appointment arranged through e-mail
Room 54 or 59, First Floor
Monday-Friday on appointment
2 floor building C Department of Biosciences
On appointment
Mangiagalli 34, 2nd floor, room 77