27372 - Territorial Agronomy and Management of Spontaneous Flora

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Planning and management of agro-territorial, forest and landscape (cod. 8532)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student acquires the basic elements for the study of the agronomic and environmental analysis of the territory and agricultural ecosystems and the practical-applicative elements for the management of weed flora in silvopastoral, forestry, recreational and non-agricultural areas. In particular, the student is able to: know and apply agronomic techniques for the environmental protection of the territory; manage spontaneous flora in agricultural and non-agricultural areas; recognize the main weeds.

Course contents

1.0 Territorial agronomy: ecological and anthropic generalities of the agroecosystem and differences with natural ecosystems. Peculiarities of territorial agronomy. Sustainable productivity concept. Evolution of agroecosystems in space and time. Environmental criticalities of current agroecosystems.

2.0 Agricultural systems

2.1 Intensive, extensive, integrated agriculture

2.2 Organic farming

2.3 Biodynamic agriculture

2.4 Slash-and-burn agriculture

2.5 Hill and mountain agriculture

2.6 Agriculture with genetically modified plants

2.7 Urban agriculture

3.0 Quality marks and territorial origin of foods

4.0 Territorial agronomic peculiarities of the Italian regions

5.0 Precision agriculture: objectives and instruments

6.0 Environmental impact of agriculture

6.1 pollution from pesticides, nitrates and phosphates

6.2 Pesticide residues in agricultural products

6.3 Environmental risk mitigation: cover crops, buffer strips, biobeds

7.0 Classifications of spontaneous flora: botanical, biological, ecological and agronomic characteristics

8.0 Weed agronomic damage: quantitative, qualitative, agronomic.

9.0 Concepts of competition and allelopathy: Root and aerial competition, allelopathic interactions.

10.0 Recognition of the main weeds: Taxonomic groupings at botanical family level and recognition at seedling and seed level.

11.0 Persistence strategies of weed flora in the agroecosystem:

11.1 Ecology of germination, dormancy and longevity of seeds

11.2 Vegetative reproduction of perennial species

11.3 Mechanisms of biotic dissemination (endo-zoochory, epi-zoochory, myrmechory, autochory), abiotic (anemochory, hydrochory, barochory) and anthropochory.

12.0 Chemical weed control: methods, time of distribution, mechanisms of action, environmental criticalities. Concepts of selectivity, tolerance and resistance.

13.0 Mechanisms of action of herbicides: HRAC (Herbicide Resistance Action Committee) classification

14.0 Conventional and integrated weeding of the main crops and non-agricultural environments: autumn-winter cereals, corn, sugar beet, rice, rapeseed, sunflower, soya, alfalfa, vineyards, olive groves, other arboretums, turf, urban ecosystem, lines railways , ditches and canals, meadows and pastures, nurseries.

15.0 Non-chemical management of the weed flora of the various anthropized ecosystems: mechanical, physical, agronomic. Notes on natural herbicides.

16.0 Soil seed bank: botanical, morphological and ecological aspects. Self-burying mechanisms. Relationships between agrotechnics and the dynamics of accumulation and persistence of seeds in the soil, emergency dynamics.

17.0 “Ecosystem services” provided by floristic biodiversity: entomogamous wildflowers, useful plants for parasitoid insects, anti-erosive winter covers, etc.

18.0 Cover crops: agronomic effectiveness for removing ecological niches from weeds (botanical and agronomic aspects).

19.0 Calculation of the floristic biodiversity indices of the agroecosystem: Shannon (H'), Simpson (D) and agronomic strategies to promote the dynamics of biodiversity in the agroecosystem.

20.0 Floristic dynamics expected following climate change: relationship between climatic variations, extremization of events and species potentially growing or subject to rarefaction.

21.0 Geo-agronomic evolution of spices: aromatic species and spices of the Old and New World, historical and agronomic evolution of the spice trade, new agronomic areas for the cultivation of various crops.

22.0 Edible spontaneous flora (territorial food ethnobotany).


All PDFs of the lessons will be made available

Teaching methods

In-person lessons in the classroom, in the field and in the laboratory

Assessment methods

Oral exam of approximately 30 minutes on both the topics of territorial agronomics and management of weed flora.

Optional: the candidate will be able to begin the exam with a very short Power Point presentation on a "case study", inherent to the program, of particular interest to him.

Teaching tools

Scientific publications on topics of particular interest to students will be made available for further study.

Office hours

See the website of Stefano Benvenuti