Course Unit Page


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

Zero hunger Responsible consumption and production Climate Action Life on land

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The aim of the course is to provide students with a general overview of the policies, programs and conservation strategies of plant biodiversity, specifically of rare and endangered plants, and to give competences in plant conservation biology, from a species-based approach and in a global change scenario. At the end of the course the student will gain a thorough understanding of the priorities and methods used in plant conservation. In particular, the student is able to carry out demographic surveys in the field and acquire information on plant intraspecific diversity; identify threat factors for the survival of wild plant populations; set up appropriate management /concrete intervention actions.

Course contents

Distribution of global diversity, major threat factors. Policies and strategies for the conservation of plant diversity (Global strategy for plant conservation: objectives and progresses; EU and national strategies)

Spermatophytes' life cycle, critical bottlenecks identification and assessment. Reproductive biology of flowering plants. Plant pollination and plant-pollinator interactions. Dissemination. Intraspecific variability. Plant rarity, population fragmentation and isolation. Demographic analysis of wild plant populations.

Threats in a global change scenario, risk assessment and conservation priorities. IUCN categories and criteria.

In-situ conservation: examples and visits to project sites (in Emilia-Romagna). Ex-situ conservation: theory and practice.

Setting up an experimental research protocol aimed at collecting data for the writing of a scientific article.

Educational field trips and specific practical workshops and surveys in the field are planned.


Bibliographic material (mainly research papers and technical manuals dealing with course topics) will be distributed during the course.

On-line distribution of didactic material, available at  Virtuale (Virtual Learning Environment) - UniBo

Specific topics can be deepened by consulting the following textbooks:

- Frankel, Brown, Burdon "The Conservation of Plant Biodiversity", Cambridge University Press

- Judd, Campbell, Donogue "Systematic Botany - A phylogenetic Approach" 2nd edition


Teaching methods

Lessons and seminars

Practical workshops (indoor and outdoor)

Field trips and didactic excursions

Assessment methods

Written exam at first examination call (with 3 open questions) and preparation of a short scientific paper (group work) followed by oral discussion

Teaching tools

Power-Point presentations

Botanic garden collections

Equipment for laboratory and field surveys

Group work presentations

Office hours

See the website of Marta Galloni