The course aims to provide basic knowledge of the marine environment, with a focus on the Mediterranean basin, through the study of the biodiversity of the main bionomic components. Adaptations to benthic and pelagic environments and their peculiar complex of interspecific relationships are also presented. The aim of the course is to build an educational path that, through lectures and practical experience, allows the student to identify main Mediterranean habitat and biocoenoses and their structuring according to the main environmental variables. Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:
• Understand and explain the main processes influencing biological diversity in the marine environment and its patterns of variation over space and time. • Know the systematics of marine organisms and the main adaptations to marine ecosystems. • Knowing how to recognize organisms through the main methods of recognition, using molecular markers and classical taxonomy. • Apply critical reading of scientific literature and independently investigate scientific issues in the marine environment using literature. • Knowing how to formulate sound and evidence based scientific questions.
Introduction to Marine Biology. Main chemical-physical and hydrodynamic characteristics of the marine environment. History of the Mediterranean Sea. Marine organisms. Morphological and physiological traits of marine organisms. Plankton; Benthos; Necton. Main orders. Biological adaptations to marine habitats. Marine biodiversity. Protected species and habitats. Allochthonous species. Marine protected areas. Intra-specific relationships: characteristics and adaptations. Communication in marine animals. Adaptations to extreme environments. Scientific research in marine biology.