Contribution of the course to the overall degree programme goals
The course deals with the analysis of possible effects of global changes on the higher hierarchical levels, namely community and ecosystem.
The focus will be on the description of the expected effects of global changes on the structure of biological communities and how these can interfere with the ecosystem processes and functioning. At the ecosystem level, indeed, we can observe emergent properties that are directly affected by modifications in the lower hierarchical levels, from population to community. The course will offer the scientific background and the analytical tools to cope with this kind of scientific issues. The course will be mainly focused on the marine environment, but conclusions would be easily transferable to any other kind of ecosystems.
Expected learning outcomes
Students are expected to develop the capacity to apply a systemic approach to the analysis of the possible effects of climate change to the ecosystem functining and the intedisciplinary approach for coping with complex problems in which the interactions play a fundamental role.
The present course is strictly linked with the ‘Global changes biology’ course (S. Malavasi), of which represents a natural extension and could find a finalization, in applicative terms, in the ‘Integrated management of natural resources’ one (C. Giupponi).
Ecosystem function: the processes that facilitate energy transfer along food webs, and the major processes that allow the cycling of carbon, oxygen and nitrogen.
The mechanisms of change through global warming, including ecosystem processes (primary production, nutrient cycling), ecosystem services, life history strategies, and complementarity (interspecific interactions).
Changes in the community structures: modifications of species composition due to distribution shifts, generally to higher latitudes and/or deeper waters. Meridionalization and tropicalization.
Changes of the abiotic compartment: the example of the ocean acidification.
Assessment of effects of the ecosystem goods and services; case study of the Venice lagoon.
Implications for conservations and management of the marine environments; case study from the fishery world.
None, scientific papers of the specific issues will be used
The final exam consist in the discussion of 3 issues developed during the course, including an issue at the choice of the student, aimed to verify the student capability to apply the studied concepts to specific case studies.
Frontal teaching, multimedial resources and group discussion on specific topics
Type of exam
2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals
This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "Natural capital and environmental quality" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development
Last update of the programme: 01/08/2019
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