The course aims to illustrate to the students how the vegetation of a territory can be studied in practice. Some excursions will be organized (possibly of several days) during which the plant landscape of the area will be analyzed, the main types of vegetation identified, floristic-vegetation surveys carried out with identification of the main botanical species, the vegetation types and habitats of conservation interest will be classified.
PDF of PowerPoint slides showed in the lectures.
Some articles, book chapters and web documents quoted in the lectures.
After a brief theoretical introduction aimed at recalling the fundamental concepts for the study and classification of plants and plant communities (plant diversity, flora, vegetation and landscape, methods of studying vegetation, concept of habitat) and a rapid overview on characteristics and peculiarities of flora and vegetation of Tuscany, the course aims to illustrate to the students how the vegetation of a territory can be studied in practice.
Knowledge acquired: knowledge of useful tools to identify plants and habitats of conservation interest; methods for studying, interpreting and classifying vegetation types and habitats; knowledge of main Italian and Tuscan vegetation types; methods for mapping botanic information.
Competence acquired: Acquisition of practical investigation tools useful for investigating and understanding the diversity and conservation importance of plant species and communities; understanding of plant dynamics and plant landscape; reading of cartographic documents concerning plant diversity at various levels.
Abilities acquired (at the end of the course): Ability to interpret the vegetation cover of a territory and to read vegetation maps; ability to collect physiognomic, phytosociological and statistical vegetation data in the field; competence in analyzing and interpreting the collected data, with particular regards to conservation purposes.
Courses to be used as requirements (required and/or recommended) - Courses recommended: Botany I, Botany II, Ecology, Laboratory of plant ecology, Vegetation Science, Conservation and management of vegetation resources
Total hours of the course (including the time spent in attending lectures, seminars, private study, examinations, etc...): 150. Hours spent in private study and other individual learning activities: 90. Contact hours for: Lectures (hours): 20. Contact hours for: Laboratory-field/practice (hours): 40
Lecture, practice and lab attendance:
Not required but recommended
Type of Assessment
Oral exam, also based on interpretation and comments of vegetation tables and/or maps. The student may be required to prepare a Power Point presentation on an agreed topic.
TThe legislative and practical tools for the identification of species, vegetation types and habitats of conservation interest; flora and vegetation concepts; physiognomical, structural and floristic characteristics of vegetation. Description of the main types of Italian vegetation types with focus on the Tuscan territory. The principal practical methods for carrying out vegetation surveys. Outlines of vegetation mapping. The preparation in practice of maps of botanical emergencies starting from the study of a territory. Execution of floristic and vegetation surveys, use of literature data, the difficulties of taxonomic homogenization. The identification of rare, endemic species, included in local, national and global attention lists; the species of the red lists. The processing of phytosociological relevés, the syntaxonomic attribution of communities at the alliance level, the identification of the corresponding habitats of conservation interest.