58465 - Landscape Ecology

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Ravenna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Environmental Assessment and Management (cod. 5900)

    Also valid for Campus of Bologna
    Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Sciences and Management of Nature (cod. 9257)

Learning outcomes

Through principles and methods of landscape ecology, the student at the end of the course will be able to: understand the central role of the plant component in the landscape; use an ecological approach in landscape analysis within a multi-scalar and multi-temporal framework; use the landscape ecology methods for the management, conservation and monitoring of landscapes and habitats in a scenario of global changes.

Course contents

Landscape: definitions. Landscape ecology: principles and aims. Patterns, processes and scales (spatial and temporal). Landscape hierarchical organization. Patch-corridor-matrix model. Diversity, heterogeneity; connectivity and fragmentation. Abiotic and biotic factors affecting structure and dynamics of the landscape. Vegetation and landscape. Biodiversity and landscape. Humans and landscape. Global changes (particularly land cover changes). Biological invasions and landscape. Ecosystem Services. Types of landscape (e.g. forest, urban and peri-urban, coastal): features and vulnerability. Landscape conservation and management. Ecological Network. Habitat Directive (92/43/EEC) and Natura 2000.

Maps and analyses to evaluate landscape structure and dynamics. Grain and extent. Data: e.g. vegetation, habitat and land cover maps. Data analysis (e.g. landscape metrics, transition matrix).


  • Slides presented during the lectures. These documents will be available at the end of each topic session. A list of references is provided at the end of each lecture together with suggested supplementary study material.
  • Papers (English) discussed and/or provided during lectures and practicals.
  • Ferrari C., Pezzi G. 2013. L'ecologia del paesaggio. Collana "Universale Paperbacks il Mulino".
  • With K.A., 2019. Essentials of Landscape Ecology. Oxford University Press (selected chapters).
  • Turner M.G., Gardner R.H. 2015. Landscape ecology in theory and practice. Pattern and process. Second edition. Springer (selected chapters).


Integrative readings (botany)

  • Mauseth J.D., 2020. Botanica. Fondamenti di biologia delle piante. IV Italian Ed. Ildenson-Gnocchi, Napoli. Chapters: 27, 28, 29.
  • Pasqua G., Abbate G., Forni C., 2019. Botanica generale e diversità vegetale. IV Ed. Piccin, Padova. Chapters: 16, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26.

Teaching methods

Lectures, practicals, field excursion, a seminar. Case studies examined.

In particular, each lesson or group of lessons will be coupled with a laboratory activity (e.g. computer exercises, analysis of case studies) that students will carry out in groups. Results will be discussed in the classroom.

The course is also offered to the students of the Master's degree in Scienze e Gestione della Natura, who have the chance to attend the course in a classroom in Bologna, where the course will be streamed. The details about the classroom are available in the teaching calendar.



As concerns the teaching methods of this course unit, all students must attend Module 1, 2 [https://www.unibo.it/en/services-and-opportunities/health-and-assistance/health-and-safety/online-course-on-health-and-safety-in-study-and-internship-areas] online, while Module 3 on health and safety is to be attended in class. Information about Module 3 attendance schedule is available on the website of your degree programme

Assessment methods

  • Type of assessment:

Oral examination consisting of 1) a landscape analysis project presented by the student and 2) the answers to two questions about the theoretical concepts of the course. Classroom exercises will be preparatory to the project.


  • Assessment evaluation:

The purpose of the project/report presentation and the answers to the two questions is to assess 1) the practical and theoretical skills acquired by the student through the course and 2) the capacity to apply the acquired knowledge to evaluate causes and effects of the landscape structure and dynamics.

Teaching tools

  • Projector
  • Slides presented during the lectures
  • Scientific papers
  • Virtual learning platform (https://virtuale.unibo.it)
  • Spreadsheets (e.g. Excel), word processor program (e.g. Word), slideshow presentation program (e.g. Power Point)
  • Open source software GIS, for to calculate Landscape metrics, and statistical. GoogleEarth, WebGIS and interactive cartography.
  • Acta Plantarum (www.actaplantarum.org) and Dryades (www.dryades.units.it) for plant species identification.

The students are required to bring their own PC for the practical activities.


Students who need compensatory tools for reasons related to disabilities or specific learning disorders (SLD) can directly contact the Service for Students with Disabilities (disabilita@unibo.it [mailto:disabilita@unibo.it] ) and the Service for Students with learning disabilities (dsa@unibo.it [mailto:dsa@unibo.it] ) to agree on the adoption of the most appropriate measures.

Office hours

See the website of Giovanna Pezzi


Sustainable cities Climate Action Life on land

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