Semester Course: 2nd
Credits: 6 ECTS
Lecturers:M. Teresa Sebastià
Web Site:

  1. Objectives:
    • To have an overview of the diversity of life.
    • To understand the concept of biodiversity and its role in nature.
    • To learn the main factors determining patterns of biodiversity, with special emphasis in the Mediterranean.
    • To learn the multiple functions of biodiversity and the importance for humans.
    • To discuss the socioeconomic and the ecological aspects of biodiversity, particularly in the Mediterranean.
    • To master the main models developed in the diversity-function framework.
    • To understand the variety of temporal and spatial scales associated with biodiversity and ecosystem function.
    • To learn the risks associated to global change and biodiversity loss.
  2. Programme topics:
    1. The diversity of life
    2. Biodiversity: from genes to biomes
    3. Patterns of biodiversity in the Mediterranean: causes and consequences
    4. Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF)
    5. Ecosystem goods and services. The Mediterranean case
    6. Relationship between biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and the provisioning of goods and services
    7. Socioeconomic and ecological perspectives of ecosystem goods and services
    8. Productivity and other biogeochemical services
    9. Spatial and temporal scales of biodiversity and BEF
    10. Models for assessing BEF. The diversity-interaction model
    11. Biotic and abiotic risks for biodiversity and BEF under global change
    12. Practical example of BEF assessment in the field
  3. Assessment:
    Course requirements include the presentation of exercises (30%), a project (50%) and a final exam (20%). The course includes some lectures, exercise sessions, paper reading and hands-on training