Economic botany and zoology

A.A. 2021/2022
Crediti massimi
Ore totali
BIO/04 BIO/05
Obiettivi formativi
The main purposes of the course are:
1. to identify the most important plants and animals (both useful and harmful), their approximate taxonomic placement and their economic relevance on a local and global scale
2. to recognize animals and plants and products thereof encountered in everyday life.
3. to understand the issues related to the process of domestication of plants, its consequences, the potential of technology to improve sustainability of agriculture and wildlife exploitation, and the effects, both positive and negative, of regulatory oversight.
Risultati apprendimento attesi
At the end of the course the students should be able to evaluate both domesticated and wild forms of plants and animals as resources of economic relevance and to identify species for their potential to be or to become useful or harmful to humans and ecosystems.
Programma e organizzazione didattica

Edizione unica

Primo semestre
More specific information on the delivery modes of training activities for the Academic Year 2021/22 will be provided over the coming months, based on the evolution of the public health situation.
The following topics will be covered during the course:
- General: hunters and gatherers: not so savage, after all. Origins of crops/ domestic animals and the domestication syndrome: major and minor traits; consequences on food safety, food security and environmental safety.
- Economic botany: Characteristics of crop plants, major classes thereof, their uses and major commodity classes. The nutritional components of crop edible parts: carbohydrates, proteins, oils, vitamins, micronutrients, fibers. Concepts of yield, harvest index and yield potential and their evolution in human history. Relevance of crop processing /storage. Are crops /domestic animals natural?
- Agrobiodiversity: value, mechanisms creating diversity and domestication centers. The Convention on Biodiversity and the Cartagena Protocol: effects vs. desires. Available technologies strategies to improve agricultural sustainability and wildlife exploitation. Positive and negative effects of regulatory oversight of old and new technologies.
- Economic zoology: exploitation of beneficial animals: insects, apiculture; sericulture, vermiculture, pearl and mollusk culture, venomous animals and model animals used for research. Exploitation of wild animals: economical values and sustainability issues. Quantifying the wildlife services to humans and to ecosystems.
- Relationships between economic development and changes in wildlife distribution. Impact of economic changes on ecosystems: effects on land-use changes and on the distribution of wild animals. Working lands conservation: strategies to support biodiversity while providing goods and services for humanity over the long term, assuring sustainability and resilience.
- Relationships between trade, economy, and the spread of alien invasive animals and plants. Impact of invasive species on humans and ecosystems. Strategies to control and mitigate the negative impacts of invasive species.
Knowledge of basic taxonomy and physiology of plants and animals.
Metodi didattici
Lectures will be delivered in traditional format using powerpoint slides.
Materiale di riferimento
Lectures will be made available through the Ariel website as ppt or pdf files, as well as additional material (original literature, notes and bibliographic material).
Modalità di verifica dell’apprendimento e criteri di valutazione
Learning will be assessed by the evaluation of practical exercises, and by an oral examination of approximately 20 minutes on the topics and issues discussed during lectures.
Lezioni: 48 ore
Contattare tramite email per fissare un appuntamento
via Celoria 26, torre C, piano 3