First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Science
Course unit
SCL1001355, A.A. 2018/19

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2016/17

Information on the course unit
Degree course First cycle degree in
SC1165, Degree course structure A.Y. 2008/09, A.Y. 2018/19
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 7.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination ECOLOGY
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Biology
Mandatory attendance
Language of instruction Italian
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge VALERIO MATOZZO BIO/07

Course unit code Course unit name Teacher in charge Degree course code

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Core courses BIO/07 Ecology 7.0

Course unit organization
Period First semester
Year 3rd Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 7.0 56 119.0 No turn

Start of activities 01/10/2018
End of activities 18/01/2019
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2008 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
8 ECOLOGIA 2019-2020 01/10/2019 27/11/2020 MATOZZO VALERIO (Presidente)
ZANE LORENZO (Membro Effettivo)
MARIN MARIA (Supplente)
7 ECOLOGIA 2018-2019 01/10/2018 30/11/2019 MATOZZO VALERIO (Presidente)
MARIN MARIA (Membro Effettivo)
ZANE LORENZO (Supplente)
6 ECOLOGIA 2017/2018 01/10/2017 25/11/2018 MATOZZO VALERIO (Presidente)
MARIN MARIA (Membro Effettivo)
ZANE LORENZO (Supplente)

Prerequisites: Knowledge provided by the courses of General and Systematic Botany, Microbiology and Zoology are necessary.
Target skills and knowledge: The course provides basic knowledge of Ecology, with particular reference to its study levels (organism, population, community, ecosystem), to the interactions between organisms and the environment, to the dynamics of the processes that regulate the functioning of ecosystems, as well as to the structural characteristics and dynamics of populations and communities.
Knowledge about topical environmental issues, such as the presence of alien invasive species and global climate change, will be acquired.
Examination methods: Written examination with both multiple choice and essay questions. In defining the final grade, answers provided to essay questions will be very important.
Assessment criteria: Both clearness and completeness of the answers given by the students are considered important criteria for judgment.
Course unit contents: 1 CFU) Ecology: definition and aims. Levels of ecological organization and the general principles of ecology. Definition of habitat and ecological niche. Organisms and physical environment; abiotic and biotic environmental factors; tolerance ranges; limiting factors and resources.
Biomes: definition, Whittaker's biome-type classification scheme; climate and terrestrial biomes; concept of biome in aquatic ecosystems.

2 CFU) Ecosystem: definition and components. Energy and thermodynamic concepts of the ecosystem. Trophic structure. Producer level: gross and net primary productivity (PP); methods for measuring the PP. Levels of consumers: consumer-resource interactions, decomposers, predators, parasites, detritivores. Trophic chains: chain of grazing and detritus and their different importance in different habitats. Concept of the food web. Autochthonous and allochthonous organic matter inputs. Regeneration of nutrients in terrestrial and aquatic habitats. Ecological performance. Number of trophic levels. Pathways of elements in ecosystems: biogeochemical cycles. Exchange pool and the reserve pool. Water, carbon, nitrogen, sulfur, and phosphorus cycles.

2 CFU) Population: definition. Structure of populations: density. Population dynamics: birth, mortality, fertility; life-tables, reproduction rate, growth rate, exponential and logistic growth model of a population; carrying capacity and intraspecific competition. Density-dependent and -independent factors.
Fluctuations and cycles. Distribution of individuals in the population. Migration and dispersion. Relationship between habitat and biological cycles. Interspecific interactions: competition, predation and parasitism, mutualism; adaptations of interacting species.

1 CFU) Community structure. Spatial organization of communities: closed and open communities, environmental continuum; ecotone. Temporal organization of communities: successions. Mechanisms underlying succession: facilitation, inhibition, tolerance. Methods to study the organization of communities.

1 CFU) Biodiversity: definitions and conservation. Threats to biodiversity. The problem of the “alien” species. Biodiversity and habitat loss. Human ecology and global climate change. Greenhouse effect, acid rain, reduction of the ozone layer. Ocean acidification.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: The course consists of lectures only.
Additional notes about suggested reading: After completing the course, PowerPoint presentations of the lessons will be provided.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Smith T.M., Smith R.L, Elementi di Ecologia. --: Pearson, 2013. Ottava edizione Cerca nel catalogo
  • Ricklefs R.E., L'economia della Natura. --: Zanichelli, 1999. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Townsend C.R., Harper J.L., Begon M., L'essenziale di Ecologia. --: Zanichelli, 2001. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Cotgreave P., Forseth I., Introduzione all’Ecologia. --: Zanichelli, 2004. Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Lecturing
  • Case study
  • Questioning
  • Use of online videos

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Clean Water and Sanitation Affordable and Clean Energy Sustainable Cities and Communities Climate Action Life Below Water Life on Land