First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Science
Course unit
SCP3053527, 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 10.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination MARINE ECOLOGY
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Biology
E-Learning website
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 MARIA MARIN BIO/07

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Educational activities in elective or integrative disciplines BIO/07 Ecology 10.0

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

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Laboratory 1.0 16 9.0 No turn
Lecture 9.0 72 153.0 No turn

Start of activities 25/02/2019
End of activities 14/06/2019
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2008 course timetable

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

Prerequisites: To have attended the Ecology course
Target skills and knowledge: The aim of the course is to provide knowledge on the main physical and chemical aspects in the marine environment, as well as on its biotic components, taking into account changes in depth and latitude. Particular attention will be paid to the influence of the environmental parameters on the distribution of marine species and communities, to differing adaptions, to intra- and interspecific interactions, and to productivity. Skills will be obtained in marine sampling techniques (seawater, sediment, plankton, benthos) and methods needed for studying biological samples and determining physico-chemical parameters.
Examination methods: Written exam: 10 questions (open, multiple choice and fill-in-the-blank)
Assessment criteria: Knowledge and skills should be acquired on both issues addressed in the lectures and methods used in field and lab activities.
The overall evaluation will take into account the comprehension of the topics covered by the course, the ability to connect critically knowledge on different topics, the accuracy and completeness of the answers.
Course unit contents: 1)Physical and chemical aspects in the marine environment (3 CFU)
Origin and morphology of ocean basins, temperature distribution and light penetration in the water column, seawater and sediment chemistry (salinity, dissolved gases, macro- and micronutrients), seawater movements (currents, waves, tides).

2)Major subdivisions of the world ocean: pelagic realm and benthic realm (3 CFU)
Organisms in the sea:
- plankton: olo- e meroplankton; virioplankon, bacterioplankton, mycoplankton, phytoplankton and zooplankton; flotation mechanisms; spatial distribution; vertical migrations; primary production and factors influencing primary productivity: light, nutrients, turbolence; phyto-zooplankton interactions: grazing; latitudinal and seasonal variations in primary production, and in phyto-and zooplankton biomass occurring in oceanic and coastal waters; particulate (POM) and dissolved (DOM) organic matter and relationship with microbial loop and viral shunt; eutrophication and dead zones; planktonic communities in eutrophic and oligotrophic waters; methods for the measurement of biomass and primary and secondary production; methods for sampling the plankton components
- nekton: buoyancy and swimming; defence and camouflage; communication and echolocation; schooling; migrations; adaptations in marine mammals; feeding
- pelagic food webs
- benthos: phyto- and zoobenthos; influence of the substrate: hard and soft bottoms; feeding in benthic organisms; zonation: shelf and deep-sea benthos; adaptations of intertidal organisms; meiofauna; methods for the study of marine benthos.

3) Habitats and communities of the continental shelf (1.5 CFU)
Variations of the main abiotic factors and effects on the community structure; intertidal and subtidal communities and food webs; estuaries and lagoons; salt marshes and mangrove forests; seagrass meadows; kelp beds and forests; coral reefs.

4)The deep sea (1 CFU)
Environmental characteristics; biodiversity; adaptations to high pressure, to low or no light, and to low food; gigantism and dwarfism in the deep-sea; chemosynthetic ecosystems: hydrothermal vents, cold seeps, whale carcasses.

5)Human impacts on the sea (0.5 CFU)
Exploitation of biotic and abiotic resources; introduction of alien species and reduction in biodiversity; alteration and lost of habitats; pollution and climate change.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Lectures supported by Power Point presentations enhanced by diagrams, pictures and videos.
Field and lab activities for a total of 16 hours, including 1) a sea trip aimed at collecting seawater, phytoplankton, zooplankton and benthos samples and measuring the main physico-chemical parameters, b) lab exercises aimed at analyzing the collected samples and identifying the main taxa.
The sea trip will carry out using a commercial fishing boat, this will allow the students to approach fishery issues in the North Adriatic Sea.
Additional notes about suggested reading: Power Point presentations of the lectures will be provided and self-evaluation tests will be supplied following each field or lab activity
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Danovaro R, Biologia marina – biodiversità e funzionamento degli ecosistemi marini.. Novara: CittàStudi Edizioni, 2013. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Castro P., Huber M.E., Biologia marina. Milano: Mc Graw Hill, 2011. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Cognetti, G., Sarà, M., Magazzù, G., Biologia Marina. Milano: Calderini, 2010. Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Lecturing
  • Laboratory
  • Working in group
  • Questioning
  • Work-integrated learning
  • Active quizzes for Concept Verification Tests and class discussions
  • Use of online videos
  • Loading of files and pages (web pages, Moodle, ...)

Innovative teaching methods: Software or applications used
  • Moodle (files, quizzes, workshops, ...)

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Climate Action Life Below Water