Ecology, physiology, ecosystem. The ecosystem approach. Objectives and methods.
Ecosystem and systems analysis (1 CFU)
Ecosystem concept, evolution of the ecosystem concept, properties and characteristics, ecosystem structure, ecosystem functionality, time scale and spatial scale for the study of ecosystems. Structural and functional characteristics of tree ecosystems. The agro-ecosystem and eco-compatibility.
Concepts and specific terminology: steady state, aggrading and degrading, turnover and residence time, efficiency of use of a resource, optimization, feedback, resistance, resilience, stability, alterations and disturbances, gradient.
Ecosystem functions and services (2 credits)
Definition of function, good and service. The classification of ecosystem goods and services. Relationship between function and ecosystem service.
Natural Capital. The ecological, social and cultural and economic value. The report on natural capital in Italy. National strategies on forest systems and sustainable development.
Agro-ecosystems. The orchard cultivation system. Multifunctionality of tree crop systems. Urban and peri-urban fruit systems. Mountain tree crop. Arboriculture for the production of wood and energy biomass. Ornamental and urban arboriculture. Green infrastructure. Sustainable management. National urban green strategy. Examples of ongoing projects.
Ecosystem control processes and functionality: (3 CFU)
Introduction: the space and time scale, the forms of energy, the international system of units.
The energy balance: concept, physical and ecological meaning of the terms of the energy balance equation, graphic representation, calculation of the energy balance. Bowen's ratio, stress conditions. The closure of the energy balance. Methodology and calculation.
The carbon balance, the source and sink concept, NEP, GPP, ecosystem respiration. Methodology and calculation.
Exercises: Turnover calculation. Specific examples on datasets collected in different systems. Analysis of experimental data and calculation of the energy flux balance at different spatial and temporal scales. Methods for measuring carbon flux at local and integrated scale. Carbon balance calculation. Study cases. Instruments for measuring the exchange of matter and energy: guided visit to an experimental monitoring site.
The Arboreal Systems (1 CFU)
Structure, Functionality, Services, Management
Tree systems with production function: fruit production, wood, cellulose, paper and biomass production:
Tree systems with protective function
Tree systems with landscape function (national and regional parks, protected areas)
Urban tree systems (municipal parks, tree-lined avenues, gardens).