Environmental Botany and agronomy

Academic Year 2019/2020 - 1° Year
Teaching Staff Credit Value: 14
Scientific field
  • AGR/02 - Agronomy and field crops
  • BIO/03 - Environmental and applied botany
Course Language: Italian
Taught classes: 70 hours
Exercise: 56 hours
Term / Semester:

Learning Objectives


    The aim of the course is to guide students to learn basic knowledge and to acquire skills on the relationship between agriculture and environment through the study of the structure and functions of ecosystems, the organization and ecological design of agro-systems aimed at planning of crop production and the preservation of the territory in Mediterranean-type environment.

Course Structure


    Lessons. Hands-on activities.

Detailed Course Content


    Presentation of the course. Basic knowledge of systems theory. Epistemological basis of ecology, Environment-Agriculture relationship. Agronomy and Agroecology.

    The ecosystem: structure, functions and evolution. Climax concept.

    From the ecosystem to the agrosystem. Analysis of relationships between the abiotic, merobiotic and biotic components of the agrosystem, and its hierarchical organization (field, farm and territory scale). Effects of anthropic action on the agrosystem. Yield and productive response (quanti-qualitative) of crops to agronomic factors. Ecosystem services (interrelations, examples and payments); the socio-ecosystems.

    The natural factors of plant production (soil, atmosphere, crops): characteristics, functions, agronomic management. Further details on: agroecological role of livestock; climate change (causes, impact, adaptation and mitigation strategies); Mediterranean-type environment (resources and limitations); agroecological role of agrobiodiversity; biotechnology and GMOs, and energy crops (importance and scientific criticism).

    The crisis of modern agriculture and scenarios for the transition to sustainability. Comparison between conventional and conservative farming models (organic and biodynamic). The design of resilient agricultural systems.

    The planning of agrosystems on a territorial scale: models, methods and analytical tools.

Textbook Information


    1. Ceccon P., Fagnano M. Grignani C., Monti M., Orlandini S. - Agronomia. EdiSES Ed. 2017.

    2. Caporali F., Campiglia E., Mancinelli R. - Agroecologia. Teoria e pratica degli agroecosistemi. CittàStudi Ed. 2014.

    3. Altieri M.A., Nicholls C.I., Ponti L. - Agroecologia. Una via percorribile per un pianeta in crisi. Edagricole Ed. 2015.

    4. Teaching aids provided by the teacher (ppt presentations of the lessons, notes on the topics covered)