Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita e dell'Ambiente - Guida degli insegnamenti (Syllabus)


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Seat Scienze
A.A. 2016/2017
Credits 6
Hours 48
Period 2^ semestre
Language ENG
U-gov code ST03 3S343


Good knowledge in zoology

Development of the course

Lectures (4 credits, 32 hours approximately) and laboratory training carried out individually; training on the field and in the lab (2 credits, 16 hours approximately).

Learning outcomes

The course enables students to acquire the theoretical knowledge and mainly technical knowledge on the use of organisms as bio-indicators for the analysis, evaluation and management of aquatic habitats (especially in current water and purification processes) and land habitats.
Simultaneously it provides students with basic knowledge about management problems of some mammals ungulates living in the Marche region and the management of non-native fauna.

Ability to apply the knowledge:
The student will gain the following vocational skills: ability to carry out sampling and analysis to assess the state of the quality of bodies of water (such as rivers and streams), soil quality, and treatment processes, through the use of bio-indicators; Furthermore the student will be able to face the problems relating to the management of wildlife and non-native fauna.

Soft skills:
Laboratory activities, carried out individually, contribute to stimulating judgment and contribute to check the knowledge gained during the lecturers.


Content of the lectures (4 credits, 32 hours):
The concept of bio-indicator and biomonitoring. Soil: definition, characteristics and functions. The soil fauna: features and functions. Biomonitoring for the assessment of biological soil quality; the characteristics of river ecosystems; the fauna of fresh waters: characteristics, adaptations and diversity. The biological indicators in freshwater; quality indices: the system of saprobes; index EBI; system of evaluation of the biological quality of rivers Star ICMI. Native and non-native crustaceans of the Italian rivers. The sludge biotic index (SBI) and its use. Microfauna involved in purification processes. Microfauna and role in water purification.
Wildlife management; examples of conflicts between humans and wildlife; parameters and characteristics of a natural population. Introduction to the census of terrestrial natural populations techniques. Examples of management of wildlife; exemplaes of allochthonous species: the red squirrel vs the gray squirrel: the conservation of the red squirrel; alien shrimps in the freshwater. The boar: biology and management. The deer biology and management.
Laboratory Praticals (2 credits, 16 hours):
Application of the index of biological quality of the soil (QBS-ar); collection of organisms via Berlese’s selector. Observation and identification of taxa used in the index. Microscopic techniques for identification of the various taxa of macroinvertebrates. Calculation of biotic indices of rivers.
Identification of the microfauna of sludge (Protozoa). Calculating the sludge biotic (SBI).
Field activities: one-day field trip at a sewage treatment plant, and one-day field activity to perform the sampling of fresh water for calculation of the quality index.

Development of the examination

Methods for assessing learning outcomes:
The exam consists of an oral test. During the oral exam, students must demonstrate that they have acquired the basic knowledge presented during the lecturers; Furthermore, the students must also be able to apply the studied biotic indices, illustrating the procedures for collecting, processing and analysis of the organisms. The students must also be able to perform the calculation of the indices to assess the quality of the rivers, soil, of purification.

Criteria for assessing learning outcomes:
The level of knowledge acquired, exposed during the oral test, referring to lectures and to the practical training, will be evaluated to assess the students’ preparation.

Criteria for measuring learning outcomes:
The final mark is assigned as a fraction of 30. The exam is successfully passed when the mark is equal to or higher than 18/30. The highest mark can be assigned cum laude.

Criteria for conferring the final mark:
The final mark is given considering the levels of knowledge acquired and shown during the oral test, and it is conferred considering the preparation of the theoretical and training parts.

Recommended reading

Sansoni G. 1998. Atlante per il riconoscimento dei Macroinvertebrati dei corsi d’acqua italiani.
Ghetti P.F., 1995. Manuale di applicazione: Indice Biotico Esteso - I macroinvertebrati nel controllo della qualità degli ambienti di acque correnti. Provincia Autonoma di Trento, Servizio Protezione Ambiente.
Madoni P. 1996. Atlante fotografico – Guida all’analisi microscopica del fango attivo
Notes taken during the lecturers and powerpoint presentations handed out by the lecturers. 
Other publications available on line and Internet sites are also recommended and listed in the powerpoint presentations. 

  • Scienze ambientali e protezione civile

Università Politecnica delle Marche
P.zza Roma 22, 60121 Ancona
Tel (+39) 071.220.1, Fax (+39) 071.220.2324
P.I. 00382520427