First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine
Course unit
AVP7079157, A.A. 2019/20

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

Information on the course unit
Degree course First cycle degree in
AG0061, Degree course structure A.Y. 2017/18, A.Y. 2019/20
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Degree course track Common track
Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination ELEMENTS OF ECOLOGY
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Land, Environment, Agriculture and Forestry
E-Learning website
Mandatory attendance No
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 TOMMASO ANFODILLO AGR/05

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Core courses AGR/05 Forestry and Silviculture 6.0

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

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Practice 1.0 8 17.0 No turn
Lecture 5.0 40 85.0 No turn

Start of activities 30/09/2019
End of activities 18/01/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2017 course timetable

Prerequisites: Essentials of plant biology
Target skills and knowledge: The course is designed to promote the capacity of the students to quantitatively analyse plant communities. Students will enhance their skills in measuring environments factors and in assessing the responses of plants to different conditions. The effects of the anthropogenic activity on forest dynamic will be emphasized. The course will provide basic ecological information in order to manage plant communities under different habitats (e.g. forests, agricultural fields, urban areas etc).
Examination methods: The exam is oral and takes place by choosing randomly 3 questions (2 in case there is a in-depth report) from the list of 49 questions previoulsly defined.

Students are invited, during the course, to organize themselves into small groups (4-5) and prepare an in-depth report. This report is presented to the other students during the practical lessons in the classroom.

The in-depth report (not mandatory) is the subject of the first question (the student submitting the report extracts only 2 questions). So the relationship is 1/3 of the final evaluation.
Assessment criteria: Evaluation based on understanding of the subjects studied, on the ability to connect the different topics and to detect the consequences on landscape management.
The in-depth report is worth 1/3 of the final evaluation. The report will be evaluated for its completeness and the ability to present the issue with the greatest number of possible management implications.
Course unit contents: Definitions: anthropogenic activity and affects on forest ecosystem. The forest ecosystem: structure, biological diversity. Biomes and climate: temperature precipitation; Atmosphere: composition, structure, circulation. Radiation: spectrum, main physical laws, assorbance, trasmittance and reflectance in the atmosphere. Factors affecting the amount of solar radiation. Greenhouse effect and climate change: global carbon cycle, effect of forests/trees on carbon budget (2 Credits).
Factors affecting photosynthesis and light requirement; plant water relations: water cycle, transpiration and water availability in forest ecosystems; strategies of resistance to water deficit; energy balance in different ecosystems (1 Credit).
Ecosystem functionality: energy and matter flows; factor controlling the gross and the net primary productivity (1 Credit).
Trophic dynamics: food chains, ecological pyramids. Populations and communities: growth models (1 Credit).
Critical thinking and in-depth report (topic to be defined by students) (1 Credit)
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Lectures and practicals.
Particular the importance of practicals in the classroom with the preparation of in-depth report. The students will choose different themes and will be asked to practice on how to find the references on the WEB for the study.
The different groups will then present their findings with a presentation of about 15 minutes to all other students.
Additional notes about suggested reading: All lectures will be available on the WEB site as well as some in-depth articles useful for the report.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Smith M, Smith RL ., Elementi di Ecologia. --: Pearson Paravia Bruno Mondadori., 2017. nona edizione Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Case study
  • Working in group
  • Auto correcting quizzes or tests for periodic feedback or exams
  • Use of online videos
  • Loading of files and pages (web pages, Moodle, ...)
  • Students peer review

Innovative teaching methods: Software or applications used
  • KAhoot

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