cod. 1011120

Academic year 2024/25
3° year of course -
Mariolina GULLI'
Academic discipline
Genetica agraria (AGR/07)
Attività formative affini o integrative
Type of training activity
35 hours
of face-to-face activities
5 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Integrated course unit module: APPLIED ECOLOGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Learning objectives

The objectives of the course are aimed at:
i) provide fundamental knowledge on food production with particular attention to primary production and the complex interaction that exists between environmental conditions, agriculture, genetic resources, and food safety.
ii) provide the cultural tools to understand the complex relationship between the climate crisis and food production and understand possible mitigation and adaptation approaches.
iii) understand the potential and critical issues relating to the creation of sustainable production systems, considering all the phases of a production chain, from farm to fork.

At the end of the course the student is expected to be able to:
- know and analyze fundamental topics of the relationship between animal and plant organisms and the environment in which they are raised: ability to exploit resources (input and output of the agroecosystem);
- understand the sources of greenhouse gas emissions in relation to the main agri-food chains, and be able to decline the possible mitigation and adaptation solutions and understand their value
- be able to critically evaluate the concepts of 'food safety' and 'food security' and what the impact of the climate crisis is on them
- know how to search for updated information on the course topics using specialized websites (FAO, IPCC, ISTAT, and others illustrated in class)


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Course unit content

Module 2 intends to provide knowledge relating to the main biotic and abiotic factors that influence food production with regard to primary production and the complex interaction that exists between environmental conditions, agriculture, genetic resources, and food security. The ongoing climate crisis is linked to food production by a complex cause-effect relationship and the course aims to provide the cultural tools to understand it.

Full programme

1. Climate change: recognizing the evidence and identifying the causes.
2. The sources of natural and anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions with particular attention to those connected to the agri-food production chains.
3. The role of international bodies in collecting data, managing information, and communicating regarding climate change.
4. How to cope with the expected increase in global demand for food in the coming decades: agriculture has a strong impact on the environment and climate; furthermore, climate change affects the quantity of food production and its location.
5. Fertilizers and biofertilizers in agriculture
6. Main factors that determine production reduction: high or low temperatures, drought, salinity, organic and inorganic contaminants, pathogens and phytophagous.
7. Mitigation and adaptation systems: role of agronomic practices and genetic resources for agriculture and livestock farming in supporting efforts to achieve food security and food quality objectives.
8. The problem of food waste: identify the causes of waste in the various steps of the supply chains and identify possible actions to reduce or reuse waste biomass.

Presentation of case studies:
-Systems to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agri-food supply chains without reducing production levels: better integration of innovative techniques and production methods.
-Technological and biotechnological solutions to increase the resilience of cultivated species.
-Precision agriculture systems


Genetica, biotecnologie e agricoltura sostenibile, di Maarten J. Chrispeels, David Sadava, Editore: Idelson-GnocchiA cura di: F. Sala, Data di Pubblicazione: 2005 EAN: 9788879474191ISBN: 8879474197
Climate change effect on crop productivity edited by Rakesh S. Sengar and Kalpana SengarBoca Raton, FL : CRC press, 2015 XXIV, ISBN 9781482229202 Anno pubblicazione 2015

The most recent publications freely available on FAO web site will be treated during lectures. The slides utilized during lectures will be available on the platform Elly. The access is restricted to registered students. Other bibliographic materials will be provided on the same platform.

Teaching methods

The course will be carried out through lectures on the specific topics of the program, with the aid of slides. To promote active participation in the course, various individual and small group activities will be proposed, using resources available in Elly.

Assessment methods and criteria

The acquisition of knowledge is verified by a written exam lasting 2 hours. The assignment consists of 10 multiple choice questions and 10 open-ended questions. Each question is given a score proportional to its difficulty. The final score is given by the sum of the scores of the individual questions up to a maximum of 33 points. The exam is passed with 18 points. Honors are earned with 33 points.

Other information

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