58465 - Landscape Ecology

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Giovanna Pezzi

  • Credits 6

  • SSD BIO/03

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian


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

Life on land

Academic Year 2018/2019

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 in a multi-scalar and multi-temporal framework; use the landscape ecology methods for management, conservation and monitoring of landscapes and habitats in a scenario of global changes.

Course contents

Landscape: definitions. Landscape Ecology: principles and aims. Pattern, processes and scale. Landscape hierarchical organization. Patch-corridor-matrix model. Diversity, heterogeneity; connectivity and fragmentation. Abiotic and biotic factors affecting structure and dynamics of the landscape. Disturbance as an ecological factor. Vegetation and landscape. Man and landscape. Anthropocene and global changes (particularly land cover changes). Biological invasions and landscape. Ecosystem Services. Types of landscape (e.g. forest, urban and peri-urban, biocultural): characters and vulnerability. Landscape conservation and management. Ecological Network. European classification of habitats. Habitat Directive (92/43/EEC) and Natura 2000. 

Maps and analyses to detect landscape structure and dynamics. Grain and extent. Data: current maps (vegetation, habitat and land use land cover) and historical maps; multi-source data. Data harmonization and analysis (e.g. landscape metrics, transition matrix).



- Power Point presentations. At the end of each presentation a list of references referrred to each lesson will be provided plus further suggested readings

- Ferrari C., Pezzi G. 2013. L'ecologia del paesaggio. Collana "Universale Paperbacks il Mulino"

- Papers (English) discussed and/or provided during lectures and practicals


Further readings

Dramstad W.E., Olson J.D., Forman R.T.T., 1997. Landscape Ecology Principles in Architecture and Land-Use Planning. Island Press, Washington

Forman R.T.T., Godron M. 1986. Landscape Ecology. Wiley

Forman R.T.T., 1995. Land mosaics. The Ecology of Landscape and Regions. Cambridge University Press

Teaching methods

Lectures, practicals, field excursion. Case studies examined.

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

Assessment methods

Written test (an exercise) and oral examination about the theoretical part. The exercise will be similar to those solved in the classroom

Teaching tools

- Personal computer, power point presentation, projector

- Scientific papers

- Open source softwares: GIS, for to calculate Landscape metrics, statistical software

- WebGIS and interactive cartography for practicals


Office hours

See the website of Giovanna Pezzi