94429 - Lichenology

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Sciences and Management of Nature (cod. 9257)

Learning outcomes

The course will allow the student to acquire advanced knowledge on the biology, diversity, ecology and distribution of lichens. It will develop the ability to identify lichen species and to detect their presence/abundance in different environments.

Course contents

Introduction to the course and to Lichenology

Lichen symbiosis: mycobiont and photobiont, morphological and physiological aspects, reproduction, secondary metabolites, functional traits

Systematics and evolution, cryptic species

Lichenological collections

The lichens of Italy: historical aspects, diversity, ecology and distribution

Characteristics of the most important genera of the Italian lichen biota

Ecological factors and anthropogenic impacts (agriculture, forest management and climate change) on lichen biodiversity

Applied Lichenology: cultural heritage, biomonitoring, forest management

Use of interactive tools for the identification of species

Laboratories for the identification and preparation of a herbarium (samples of at least 30 species)

Detection of lichen biodiversity in an urban environment

Field excursion aimed at the observation of lichens in different habitats and on different substrates


Lichen Biology - https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511790478


Sanità di Toppi L. – Interazioni Piante-Ambiente. 2018. Piccin editore




The teacher will also provide the pdf of scientific articles on each of the topics covered in class, in addition to the pdf of each lesson.

Teaching methods

The teaching is based on lectures, indoor laboratory activities for the identification of lichen samples, outdoor laboratory for the detection of lichen biodiversity in an urban environment and on the realization of a two-day educational excursion aimed at the observation and collection of lichens in different habitats and substrates. These three components are integrated with each other in a functional way trying to stimulate the participation of students and the interaction between them and the teacher, thus creating interest in the topics covered and a climate of active and serene participation. Students are offered the preparation of a herbarium as an opportunity to facilitate the knowledge of the most common and typical species of different types of environment. To further stimulate the interest of students, seminars held by experts on topics closely related to the program may be included in the course As regards the bibliographic sources to support the study, in addition to indicating some texts in which the student can find the main concepts proposed in class, for each of them the original sources on which the lesson is based are provided, i.e. the pdf of the scientific reference articles used to develop a particular topic. Finally, the practical activities are supported by the figure of a classroom tutor who assists the teacher by assisting the students in the identification of the species and preparation of the herbarium.

In consideration of the types of activities and teaching methods adopted, the attendance of this training activity requires the performance of all students of modules 1 and 2 in e-learning mode and participation in module 3 of specific training on safety and health in the places of study. Information on dates and methods of attendance of module 3 can be consulted in the specific section of the degree program website.

Assessment methods

Oral exam. The test includes the taxonomic and ecological-distributional discussion of the specimens collected in the herbarium, and the analysis of the topics covered during the course, stimulating reasoning and the connection between the topics. The basic scheme of the test is divided into three questions, two on the theoretical parts and one on the practical / laboratory parts. The final grade integrates the assessments reported on the different parts that make up the exam. The achievement of a complete, organic and reasoned vision of the topics dealt with, together with the ability to express oneself appropriately, will be evaluated with marks of excellence. Knowledge mostly mechanical and mnemonic as well as not very thorough, and a capacity for expression that is not always appropriate, will lead to discrete evaluations. Minimal knowledge and inappropriate language will lead to sufficient evaluations. Serious gaps in knowledge and expression will lead to insufficient evaluations.

Teaching tools

Lectures supported by ppt presentations that will be provided to students

Two day field excursion


Indoor and outdoor workshops

Lichenological herbarium

Analysis of original sources on the topics covered during the course

Office hours

See the website of Juri Nascimbene


Good health and well-being Climate Action Life on land

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.