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TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEMS OF GREECE

             
Compulsory/Elective Code Semester Lectures Practicals Credits ECTS
Elective 13Β034 6th 4 Hrs/Wk  3 Hrs/Wk 5 6,5
Aims:
 
 

To provide the students with basic knowledge on concepts related to: a) the biodiversity of Greece in terms of its flora, fauna and terrestrial habitats, b) the patterns of the above biodiversity, in relation to the geological history of the area, the climate and species evolution, c) the threats that this biodiversity is facing, d) specific topics of the biodiversity of Greece, e.g. threatened species, protected areas, legislation, e) the major strategies for biodiversity management and conservation.

 
Objectives:
 
 

Skills: Students after attending the course are expected to have developed skills for identifying the components of terrestrial biodiversity of Greece, to have become familiar with methods of studying populations in the wild but also in the lab, and to propose plans for managing and conserving this biodiversity.

Abilities: At the end of the course students should be able: a) to acquire enhanced knowledge on ecological issues, b) to work in groups, c) to use their knowledge in solving simple ecological problems, d) to develop their judgment, their critical way of thinking for making decisions on ecological issues related to the terrestrial biodiversity of Greece.

 
Lectures:
 
 

Introduction: Evolution of the Greek landscape in the geological time. Climatology and geology of Greece. Habitat types of Greece.

The diversity of the terrestrial flora of Greece: Flora and vegetation. Phytogeography of Greece. The structure of the Greek flora. Native and alien flora of Greece. Geo-elements. Endemism. Distribution ranges, Chorology. Status, threats and conservation of the Greek flora. Legislation.

The diversity of the terrestrial fauna of Greece: Zoogeography. Diversity of the Greek fauna. Native and alien species. Endemism. Distribution ranges, Chorology. Status, threats and conservation of the Greek fauna. Legislation.

The terrestrial environment of Greece in time and space: taxa differentiation in the Greek islands: The Hellenic environment since Meiocene, peculiarities of fauna and flora of the Greek islands and differentiation of characteristic taxa.

The diversity of the terrestrial ecosystems of Greece: Mediterranean ecosystems (phrygana, maquis, pine forests). Plant adaptations to water stress. Plant productivity. Nutrient pools and nutrient cycling. Consumers. Decomposers. Fire as an ecological factor. Plant and animal diversity in the Mediterranean ecosystems. Threats. Conservation and Management.

Mountainous Forests: Coniferous and Deciduous Forests. Distribution, structure and function. Plant and animal diversity in the mountain ecosystems. Threats. Conservation and Management.

Alpine ecosystems: Distribution, structure and function. Plant and animal diversity in the alpine ecosystems. Threats. Conservation and Management.

Ecotones and Coastal ecosystems: Distribution, structure and function. Plant and animal diversity in the coastal ecosystems. Threats. Conservation and Management.

Specific issues of Conservation and management: Networks of protected areas. Natura 2000 network. Environmental awareness. Environmental legislation.

 
Practicals:
 
 

The 8 exercises of the course aim at teaching the students the basic methodological tools for studying the structure of 6 different terrestrial ecosystem types of Greece, forming an altitudinal gradient. The organisms studied are both flora and fauna. Structural data are then correlated with abiotic data, soil and climate. 

These exercises take place during a 3-day obligatory field trip in Peloponnese.  

During the field trip 2 samplings per day are performed during which students are practicing different exercises following a rotation system.

After returning from the field, student analyze their samples in the laboratory and submit their reports.

In addition, students have been taught in statistics and ecological modelling, as well as to techniques for taxa and animal prints identification, prior to the field trip. 

 
Instructors:
 
  Lectures: Margarita Arianoutsou - Farangitaki, Professor of Ecology & Terrestrial Ecosystems (Coordinator) - Theophanis Constantinidis, Associate Professor of Systematic Botany - Aris Parmakelis, Associate Professor of Biodiversity and Population Ecology – Dr. Kanella Radea (Laboratory Teaching Staff) – Dr. Dimitrios Kazanis (Laboratory Teaching Staff) – Dr. Ioannis Bazos (Laboratory Teaching Staff) – Dr. Pavlos Andriopoulos (Laboratory Teaching Staff)
 
  Practicals: Margarita Arianoutsou - Farangitaki, Professor of Ecology & Terrestrial Ecosystems (Coordinator) - Theophanis Constantinidis, Associate Professor of Systematic Botany - Aris Parmakelis, Associate Professor of Biodiversity and Population Ecology – Dr. Kanella Radea (Laboratory Teaching Staff) – Dr. Dimitrios Kazanis (Laboratory Teaching Staff) – Dr. Ioannis Bazos (Laboratory Teaching Staff) – Dr. Pavlos Andriopoulos (Laboratory Teaching Staff) - Yannis Kokkoris (Special Technical Staff)
 
Notes:
 
 

Prerequisite Courses: Ecology

The course is offered to Erasmus students: Teaching in Greek language - Exams in English language.

The evaluation process is carried out in Greek language (there is the possibility in English for Erasmus students), with a final examination of the whole course that includes: A. Written examination: Questions of multiple choice, questions requiring short answers, questions requiring critical judgment (60%) - B. Written examination in the practicals (20%) - C. Group reports on each practical exercise (20%) - D. Optional group seminar with a bonus of 0.5-1 to the passing grade. A pass is required in both written examinations for a successful result. The average grade of Laboratory Exercises contributes ...% to the final, total, course grade.

 
Contact:
 
  If you require more information, please contact the Course Coordinator, Prof. Margarita Arianoutsou at: Tel. 0030 210 727 4352 - Email: marianou[at]biol.uoa[dot]gr