88272 - Climate Change Impacts on Coastal Society and Marine Ecosystems

Academic Year 2022/2023

  • Moduli: Stefano Goffredo (Modulo 1) Erik Caroselli (Modulo 2)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo 1) Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Sciences and Management of Nature (cod. 9257)

Learning outcomes

Students will know the effects of global climate change on key organisms, biodiversity and ecosystems, particularly on marine species, including the effects on human societies and economies. Models and forecasts are presented considering different scenarios predicted by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). Students will know how organisms interact, as components of the structure and function of ecosystems, including the consequences of human interactions with the environment. Marine organisms are traced from the Earth’s primordial oceans, to their response to the warming and acidifying oceans.

Course contents


1) Conflicts and Security Risks of Climate Change in the Mediterranean Region - Projections and Impacts of Future Climate Change in the Mediterranean; - Impact of Climate Change on Water Supply and Water-Related Conflicts; - Consequences for Food Security; - Population and Migration in the Mediterranean; - Human Security, Environmental Conflict and Climate Adaptation; - Energy Security as Field of Conflict and Cooperation; - Political and Economic Frameworks for Cooperation in the Mediterranean.

Socioeconomic Aspects: Human Migrations, Tourism and Fisheries - Introduction; - Coastal Commercial Fisheries and Aquaculture; - Tourism; - Migrations.

Ecological and evolutionary considerations regarding corals in a rapidly changing environment - Comments on the Evolution of Corals in the Atlantic Versus the Pacific Oceans; - Climate Change, Changes in the Oceanic Climatic Zones, and Their Effects; - Comments on Evolution of the Immune System in Corals; - Closing Comments.

Coral population dynamics - Ecological modes in corals; - Why study population biology?; - How to model population dynamics?; - The introduction of an age-based population dynamics model into coral reef ecology: the Beverton and Holt model; - The case study of mushroom corals at Eilat; - Correlations between demographic characteristics, environmental parameters, and implications with climate change; - Relationships between growth, population structure and sea surface temperature in temperate solitary corals; - What about calcification and temperature?; - What about non-zoox corals?; - Zoox coral versus non-zoox coral; - The Panarea underwater crater: a laboratory for the study of ocean acidification and warming effects; - The ocean acidification; - Calcifiers and ocean acidification; - Coral biomineralization and calcification; - The Panarea transpalnt experiment; - Long term effects of acidification on growth of corals naturally living along a pH gradient.



Strategies of acclimatization to ocean acidification in Mediterranean corals - The carbon dioxide volcanic vents of Ischia Island; - Community shifts at Ischia Island; - Impact of ocean acidification on the morphology of non-zooxanthellate corals; - The problem of age determination in colonial organisms; - Impact of ocean acidification on polyp and colony growth in non-zooxanthellate corals; - Different acclimatization strategies to ocean acidification in zooxanthellate vs non-zooxanthellate corals; - the impact of ocean acidification on coral-associate microbial ecosystems.


The purchase of specific texts is not necessary. Updated teaching materials will be provided, in English and Italian

Teaching methods

The course consists of 6 credits of frontal lectures

Assessment methods

The evaluation of the integrated course jointly takes into account the level of knowledge and skills acquired by the student in relation to the contents of both modules.

The learning assessment takes place through the final exam, which ascertains the acquisition of the knowledge and the expected skills.

For module 1, (Goffredo): oral examination (2 questions).

For module 2, (Caroselli): oral examination (2 questions).

The final grade will be given by averaging the scores obtained in the two modules

Teaching tools

Teaching materials: teaching material presented in class will be made available to the student in electronic format via internet, at this address: https://virtuale.unibo.it/

Links to further information


Office hours

See the website of Stefano Goffredo

See the website of Erik Caroselli


Climate Action Oceans Life on land Partnerships for the goals

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