D3a - Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Ambientali - Guida degli insegnamenti (Syllabus)


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Seat Agraria
A.A. A.A. 2016-2017
Credits 9
Hours 81
Period 2^ semestre
Language ENG
U-gov code LM SAT-GS W000057


Basic knowledge of forest ecology, forest measurements, silviculture, GIS and topography.

Development of the course

The didactic method is based on: ppt lectures (4 CFU) provided in copies to the students; laboratory exercises (3 CFU); field data collection (2 CFU). The course will be also available through an e-learning version using the Moodle platform. Within this platform, the course will be organized into: (i) teaching materials composed by different learning units; (ii) interactive activities (e-tivity); (iii) field trip information and reservations.


Learning outcomes

Knowledge. The course enables students to acquire the fundamental knowledge about landscape ecology applied to the most important forest ecosystems, through the integration within a GIS environment of remotely sensed and field data.


Applying knowledge and understanding. The main aim of this course is to provide analytical skills and tools to manage a huge amount of spatially explicit data derived from different sources. This is done through the use of freeware software and other advanced instruments for field forest measurements.


Cross-expertise. (i) autonomous capability to collect and analyze geographical data of forest landscapes; (ii) communications: capability of clearly and exhaustively communicate notions, ideas, problems and technical solutions to interlocutors, either professional or not, representative of the various and specific competencies in the forest management sector (foresters, agronomists, engineers, architects, biologists, administrators).




1. Introduction to landscape ecology: a) Landscape ecology principles, b) Heterogeneity and scale concepts, c) Sampling design at landscape scale. (1 ECTS).

2. Geographic Information Systems and GPS applied to forest landscapes (with laboratory exercises): surface analysis, georeferencing tools, and photointerpretation techniques. (1 ECTS).

3. Introduction to remote sensing of environment: a) Remotely sensed data (aerial photographs, satellite images, LiDAR), b) Image processing, c) Categorical maps validation. (2 ECTS).

4. Forest landscape patterns and processes: landscape mosaic and its measurements (e.g. landscape metrics and spatial analysis); natural and anthropogenic disturbances, land use change, climate change (3 ECTS).

5. Analysis of forest landscapes: measuring landscape patterns to understand ecological processes using remote sensing and field based data (with lab exercises and field data collection) (1 ECTS).


Development of the examination

Learning evaluation methods

The exam includes: a) a technical report of all the lab exercises done during the course, b) an oral test with open questions concerning the whole course contents.


Learning evaluation criteria

In the oral classwork, the student will have to: (i) report on lab and field exercises; (ii) demonstrate knowledge of characteristics and main applications in forest ecology of remote sensing data; (iii) demonstrate knowledge of basic principles of landscape ecology applied to relevant forest dynamics and other processes. To pass the oral exam, the student must demonstrate an overall understanding of the content using appropriate technical terminology, and to be able to deal with deductive reasoning that enable him to create links within matter, and to have a complete mastery of the subject.


Learning measurement criteria

The final mark is attributed in thirtieths. Successful completion of the examination will lead to grades ranging from 18 to 30 “cum laude”.


Final mark allocation criteria

The oral examination consists of three questions concerning the subjects listed in the teaching program, each of ones will be quantified in the range 0 - 10. The degree of 30 “cum laude” is attributed when the student demonstrates complete mastery of the subject.



Recommended reading

Relevant scientific papers will be given and discussed during the course. No textbook is required for this course; you may find the following texts to be useful background material:


1. Turner M.G., Gardner R.H. 2015. “Landscape Ecology in Theory and Practice: Pattern and Process”, Springer, New York.

2. Gergel S.E., Turner M.G. 2002. “Learning Landscape Ecology: A Practical Guide to Concepts and Techniques”, Springer, New York.

3. Pickett, S.T.A., White PS., 2013. “The ecology of natural disturbance and patch dynamics”. Academic Press, San Diego.

4. Lillesand, TM., Kiefer R.W., Chipman J.W., 2015. “Remote Sensing and Image Interpretation”, Wiley, Hoboken.


Tutorial session


Tuesday from 2 pm to 4 pm.


  • C.L.M. Scienze Forestali, dei Suoli e del Paesaggio (FORESPA)

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