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A.Y. 2020 / 2021

Full year
Type of Learning Activity 
Other learning activities
Study Path 
[PDS0-2015 - Ord. 2015] common
Teaching language 


Learning objectives 

The course aims to provide the methodological basis for a scientific
approach to the study of the landscape. Additionally, the course offers
approaches, methods and tools to increase the resilience of the city /
territory landscapes and to contribute to an increasingly inclusive and
aware governance.
Knowledge and comprehension
- The basic knowledge of the ecological concepts.
- The acquisition of ecological knowledge for an integrated view of the
landscape as a system of ecosystems.
- The comprehension of the central role of vegetation as a primary
producer and builder of the landscape.
- The knowledge of the importance of biodiversity and ecosystem
services produced by the landscape.
- The comprehension of the landscapes of the Anthropocene: the
environmental and social crisis.
- The knowledge of methods and tools to increase the resilience and
adaptation of landscapes to climate change.
The acquisition of the ability to use GIS techniques and remote sensing
for the study of the territory and to produce alternative scenario models.
Ability to apply knowledge and comprehension
Students will be able to apply the concepts of landscape ecology to have
an integrated view of the landscape. They will be able to identify the
landscape units and analyze them from the biotic, abiotic and socioeconomic
point of view. Students will be able to use GIS technologies and
produce alternative scenario models.
Independent judgement
Independent judgment is developed through the preparation for the exam and through the proposal for group work. The latter serves to
stimulate the ability to discuss and interact with course mates.
Communication skills
Lectures are carried out in such a way that each student must know how
to structure questions and argue their theses. The exam format
comprises a group work presentation of posters, while each single
student will have to demonstrate his computer skills and their theoretical
knowledge acquired.
Learning skills
Learning skills are fostered by individual, in depth study building on the
lecture content and the final group work.


Attendance of the preparatory laboratories for the integrated design
laboratories is a prerequisite, as per the CdS regulation.


PART I: Landscape in ecological sciences.
PART II: Importance of vegetation.
PART III: Biodiversity and ecosystem services.
PART IV: The landscapes of the Anthropocene.
V PART: Resilience and adaptation.
PART VI: The representation of the landscape.
Exercises with Graphical Information Systems (GIS).

Teaching format 

Lectures, exercises in the computer lab, group work supervised by the teacher. Field trips.

Extended Programme 

Landscape ecology
- Definition of ecology;
- man-nature relationship in history;
- mechanistic, holistic and systemic approaches;
- ecology development: autoecology, synecology, ecosystem ecology, landscape ecology;
- levels of biological organization;
- emergent properties principle;
- structure of an ecosystem (producers, consumers and decomposers);
- the primary role of plants;
- etymology of the word landscape;
- landscape concept: aesthetic landscape, geography landscape, geobotanical landscape, anthropocentric landscape, landscape as a system of interacting ecosystems, landscape as a specific level of biological organization;
- history of landscape ecology;
- concept of ecological tissue;
- concept of ecological corridor;
- landscape matrix;
- landscape unit (UdP);
- ecological classification of landscapes (natural, semi-natural, agricultural, suburban, urban);
- ecosystem services: supporting services; provisioning services; regulating services; cultural services;
- resistance and resilience of an ecosystem, dynamic of the plant community;
- human ecology
Habitat loss, biodiversity, protected areas, Natura 2000 Network,invasive species, and conservation, ecosystem services, population growth, resource use and sustainability, adaptations to climate change.
Landscape representation: GIS and Remote Sensing
- free and open source software and accessibility to geographic data;
- GRASS GIS, QGIS and SNAP: history, differences and potential;

- definition of GIS. Characteristics of geographic data;
- spatial data representation model: vector model, taster model;
- layers e databases;
- main GIS operations;
- Definition of Remote Sensing for Earth Observation;
- remote sensing platforms;
- active and passive sensors;
- components of a remote sensing system;
- analog-digital conversion;
- digital image concept;
- spectral bands (multispectral image);
- sensor resolution;
- satellite swath;
- spectral signatures;
- Landsat and Sentinel satellite series;
- Shuttle Radar Topograpgy Mission (STRM);
- Digital Elevation Model (DEM).
- processing remote sensing images.

End-of-course test 

The exam will take place through the presentation of the posters produced by each group (maximum 3 students) and a simultaneals individual discussion on the theoretical-disciplinary themes related to the project, dealt with during the lessons and deepened with the reading of some texts of the general bibliography as well as hose suggested from time to time in class. The final evaluation will be based on 2/3 on the project and 1/3 on the theoretical preparation.
Any changes to the methods described here, which become necessary to ensure the application of the safety protocols related to the COVID19 emergency, will be communicated on the Department, Study Program and Teaching website.

Other information 

Detailed information is available on the course Moodle platform.


Ferrari C. e Pezzi G., 2013. L’ecologia del paesaggio. Il Mulino.
Ingegnoli V., 2011. Bionomia del paesaggio, Spinger-Verlag Italia.
Smith T.M. and Smith R.L., 2007. Elementi di ecologia. Pearson.

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