First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Science
EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY
Course unit
BIOLOGICAL RESPONSES TO CLIMATE CHANGE
SCP6076599, A.A. 2019/20

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2018/19

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY
SC1179, Degree course structure A.Y. 2018/19, A.Y. 2019/20
N0
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 8.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination BIOLOGICAL RESPONSES TO CLIMATE CHANGE
Website of the academic structure http://biologia.scienze.unipd.it/2019/laurea_magistrale_biologiaevoluzionistica
Department of reference Department of Biology
E-Learning website https://elearning.unipd.it/biologia/course/view.php?idnumber=2019-SC1179-000ZZ-2018-SCP6076599-N0
Mandatory attendance
Language of instruction Italian
Branch PADOVA
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

Lecturers
Teacher in charge ALESSANDRO ALBORESI BIO/04
Other lecturers NICOLETTA LA ROCCA BIO/04
CHIARA PAPETTI BIO/07
GIANFRANCO SANTOVITO BIO/09

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Core courses BIO/07 Ecology 1.0
Core courses BIO/09 Physiology 2.0
Core courses BIO/04 Vegetal Physiology 5.0

Course unit organization
Period First semester
Year 2nd Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
hours
Hours of
Individual study
Shifts
Lecture 8.0 64 136.0 No turn

Calendar
Start of activities 30/09/2019
End of activities 18/01/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2018 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
4 RISPOSTE BIOLOGICHE AI CAMBIAMENTI CLIMATICI GLOBALI 2019-2020 01/10/2019 27/11/2020 ALBORESI ALESSANDRO (Presidente)
PAPETTI CHIARA (Membro Effettivo)
LA ROCCA NICOLETTA (Supplente)
SANTOVITO GIANFRANCO (Supplente)
3 RISPOSTE BIOLOGICHE AI CAMBIAMENTI CLIMATICI GLOBALI 2018-2019 01/10/2018 30/11/2019 ALBORESI ALESSANDRO (Presidente)
PAPETTI CHIARA (Membro Effettivo)
LA ROCCA NICOLETTA (Supplente)
SANTOVITO GIANFRANCO (Supplente)

Syllabus
Prerequisites: Basic knowledge in Animal and Plant Physiology and Ecology are recommended.
Target skills and knowledge: How do living organisms respond to the global climate change that is taking place now? This course provides a solid foundation on the responses of organisms to global climate change. Special attention will be given to the response of the single individual and of entire populations, highlighting the role of phenotypic plasticity and adaptation. This course explores the molecular, physiological, developmental and morphological strategies that land plants, algae and animals use to successfully overcome the environmental stresses. The course is structured around selected thematic modules to introduce students very current areas of research in related fields.
Examination methods: The acquired knowledge will be verified in a single written test.
The course teacher will prepare questions related to the topics covered during lectures and group work.
For what concerns the part of Professor Alboresi, a Journal Club activity will be evaluated.
For what concerns the part of Professor Papetti the students will be asked to provide a report on the analysis of an article. This assessment will be provided via moodle, with the "assessment" tool. Instructions will be available in moodle and during classes.
The final mark will be given by the sum of the marks of the individual teachers weighed for the number of credits they have covered in class.
Assessment criteria: The ability to present the contents of the course will be evaluated.
The use of appropriate terminology will be evaluated as well as the ability to establish inter and intra disciplinary links and "problem solving" analysis.
Course unit contents: The course is taught by 4 teachers and organized as follows:
- 1 CFU, GENERAL INTRODUCTION to the major physical phenomena associated with global climate change that threaten the survival of certain species and limit crop productivity, especially in developing countries.
Main challanges: analysis of the characteristics and speed of global climate change. Increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration and greenhouse gases. Temperature increase. Acidification of water (marine and rain). Ozone and stress from UV rays. Lessons from the past and paleoclimatology: climate as a driving force of the great extinctions of the past and changes in biodiversity. During the course, the physiological limits of living organisms will be discussed together with the concept of ecological and physiological niche. Importance of constant monitoring of biodiversity for the identification of species at greater risk of extinction. The concepts acquired in the general part will be applied in a timely manner to plants and animals.
- 4 CFU, PLANT BIOLOGY: Effects of climate change on the physiology and adaptation of photosynthetic organisms. Variability of the response between different organisms: most sensitive species have a greater risk of extinction. Microalgae and strategies for marine CO2 fixation (here included the responses of the ocean forests of macroalgae), terrestrial plants and fixation of atmospheric CO2 (deforestation / reforestation, effect on the overall balance of carbon and oxygen and water recycling between land and atmosphere). Plant response to desertification (water stress and resistance of plants to global warming), acidification of water and UV rays. Increases in sea temperature and melting of polar and mountain glaciers ("bloom" / exceptional algal blooms). Algae and plants as indicators of global climate change. Study of the dynamics of plant populations and their survival strategies. Changes in plant-animal interaction.
- 3 CFU, ANIMAL BIOLOGY: from physiology to eco-evolutionary dynamics. The responses of animals to global warming will be treated in terms of life cycle variations, both from the point of view of organ function and from the molecular point of view. Effects related to temperature, CO2, salinity and UV irradiation and the intervention of multiple stress elements in the same habitat. In particular: i) responses of homeothermic animals, pecilotherms and heterotherms to the increase in environmental temperature (for example sexual determinism depending on environmental conditions); (ii) animal responses to the increase in CO2 in the internal medium and consequent risk of acidosis; (iii) responses of marine animals to the variation of salinity; (iv) animal responses of polar and high altitude regions to increased UV irradiation. Study and analysis of characteristics of ecological vulnerability: research on ecological niches, on trophic networks, on the dispersive potential of species, models and examples of the concept of habitat availability, monitoring of genetic variability, adaptation. Examples of the difficulty of distinguishing the plastic response (determined by the environment, phenotypic plasticity), the evolution of traits (genetic changes, genetic evolution) will be provided. The concept of rapid evolutionary changes and the link between demographic processes of different organisms belonging to the same ecological community will be mentioned. The benefits and disadvantages of hybridization processes and their evolutionary significance will be indicated.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: The course is organized in lectures with the aid of multimedia and slides, but also reading and discussion of recent specific literature in the field of climate change.
Additional notes about suggested reading: Articles from recent literature will be recommended and discussed, in particular reviews and research articles on the topics covered during the course. All course material used for lessons will be provided to students through e-learning platform.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • A. Poli, E. Fabbri, C. Agnisola, G. Calamita, G. Santovito, T. Verri, Fisiologia animale. --: EDISES, 2014. Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Lecturing
  • Students peer review

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

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Climate Action Life Below Water Life on Land