Biological sciences
Study-unit Code
Ambientale - naturalistico
Silvana Piersanti
  • Silvana Piersanti
  • 42 ore - Silvana Piersanti
Course Regulation
Coorte 2020
Learning activities
Attività formative affini o integrative
Academic discipline
Type of study-unit
Obbligatorio (Required)
Type of learning activities
Attività formativa monodisciplinare
Language of instruction
Basic concepts of animal biodiversity: definition of biodiversity, levels of biodiversity, genetic diversity and species diversity, ecosystem diversity and landscape concept, biodiversity value, direct and indirect use values, non-use values. Major threats to Biodiversity.
The course also aims to provide knowledge on the diversification of the Phylum Chordata, considering the adaptive radiation of each group in relation to the organism / environment interactions.
Reference texts
Vertebrate life
Harvey Pough F., Janis
C.M., Heiser J.B.
Ed. Pearson

Biologia della Conservazione
Primack R.B., Boitani L.
Ed. Zanichelli

Biodiversità, dal genoma al paesaggio
Ferrari C.
Ed. Zanichelli

Zoologia sistematica Westheide W., Rieger R.
Ed. Zanichelli
Educational objectives
At the end of the course It is expected that the student will know and be able to place phylogenetically the representatives of some high-ranking zoological taxa, characterized by a particularly high degree of diversity, within the Chordata and in particular the Cranioti.
It also requires that the student possesses a complex and articulated notion of the concept of animal biodiversity, also supported by concrete examples, related to the knowledge of the adaptive radiation of the Phylum Chordata and their relationships with the environment.
Students need good knowledge on Zoology (General Zoology and fundamental Taxonomy)
Teaching methods
Lectures in the classroom and some practical activities.
Other information
The schedule of the lessons and the exams are available on the Department's website: http://www.dcbb.unipg.it
The teacher can be contacted by e-mail for any need (exam dates, concepts).
Additional teaching materials, such as course slides or scientific publications related to the topics discussed, are made available to all students with free access in the uni-studium web site during the course.
Learning verification modality
Tutte le verifiche di apprendimento verranno realizzate con prove orali della durata di circa mezz'ora (2-4 domande).E' prevista almeno una prova in itinere facoltativa durante il corso, riservata agli studenti frequentanti.

Per informazioni sui servizi di supporto agli studenti con disabilità e/o DSA visita la pagina http://www.unipg.it/disabilita-e-dsa
Extended program
Basic concepts of animal biodiversity, definition of biodiversity, levels of biodiversity:
- Genetic diversity, genetic pool of a species, genetic pollution.
- Species diversity, concept of species, indices of diversity and estimation of the specific diversity of the Planet.
- Ecosystemic biodiversity, landscape ecology and biodiversity value.
- Total economic value of biodiversity and major threats to its conservation.
- Phylogenetic and linnean taxonomy, morphological and molecular philogenesis, with particular reference to the Phylum Chordata.

Diversity of Chordata and their phylogeny.
- Urchordata: Ascidiacea, Appendicularia and Thaliacea;
- Craniata;
- Agnata (Myxinidae and Petromizonte);
- Gnathostomata;
- Chondroites;
- Osteognathostomata, Actinopterygii and Sarcopterygii generalities and some main Orders;
- Coelacanthiformes and evolution of the Tetrapods, colonization of the emerged lands;
- Amphibians: Anura, Urodela and Gymnophiona. Generalities and some main Orders;
- Amniotic vertebrates, Sauropsida, Testudinata and Lepidosauromorpha: Squamato and Ricochets. Generalities and some main Orders;
- Archosauria, Loricata and Birds, basic concepts about Dinosaurs;
- Synapsida, mammalian reptiles and mammals. Monotremata, marsupialia and placentalia. Generalities and some main Orders.
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