45009 - Systematic Botany Laboratory

Course Unit Page


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

Life on land

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student is able to place in a historical perspective the classification systems which organize plant diversity in a taxonomic hierarchy; he attains, also, the ability to identify the most common plant species in the region, using dichotomous analytical keys, interactive or traditional, based on macroscopic and microscopic morphology. The student also has a thorough knowledge of the key concepts and methods in analysis and intervention pertaining to protection of plant species. The course, mainly practical, includes indoor and outdoor practices.

Course contents

Principles of Plant Systematics. Hierarchical classifications and taxonomic categories. Sampling of plant individuals: guided visits and plant collection. Detection of macro- and microscopic diagnostic characters. Identification of taxa by traditional analytical keys and/or computerized keys.

Floral traits of the main angiosperm families. Floral diagrams and formulas. The herbarium: preparation of plant specimens for deposit as herbariumvoucher. Historical and scientific utility of exsiccata collections.


S. Pignatti (1982) "Flora d'Italia" Edagricole

S. Pignatti (2017-2019) "Flora d'Italia" Edagricole

FloraGator: a web-based, multiple-entry key for flowering plant family identification (http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/floragator/key.html)

Dryades project (www.dryades.eu)

Leafsnap: an electronic field guide (http://leafsnap.com/)

Pl@ntNet: Plant observation and interactive identification (www.plantnet-project.org)

on-line distribution of didactic material

Teaching methods

Frontal lessons, seminars and conferences.

Field material collection.

Didactic excursions and practical training.

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

The end-of-course exam aims to assess the achievement of learning objectives:

- principles of plant Systematics (representation of classification systems by Ladders, Maps, Trees. Evolutionary meaning of phylogenetic dendrograms). Hierarchical structure of the classifications and taxonomic categories

- placement of plant organisms in the different hierarchical ranks of a classification system based on their evolutionary history).

- ability to identify plant specimens collected in the field up to the taxonomic rank of species, using paper or interactive dichotomous keys.

- Ability to describe the floral traits using formulas and diagrams, and to recognize the main angiosperm families.

The examination, evaluated in thirtieths, consists of a practical part (concerning the identification and description of plant species), a presentation of an original herbarium of at least 10 samples and an oral discussion.

Teaching tools

Power-Point presentations.

Specimens from Herbarium and Botanical garden of Bologna.

Field and lab equipments.

Office hours

See the website of Lucia Conte

See the website of Marta Galloni