Teaching Material EduSaPMan - Video Lectures

Plant Stress

  • capacity of plants to acclimate to their environment
  • the key stress responses and mechanisms of acclimation to environmental stress
  • reduction of the rate of plant physiological processes due to variation in environmental    drivers
  • the limits of stress tolerance and acclimation to stresses under globally chaning   environmental conditions, i.e. elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration and air temperature  and drought in world ecosystems 

Litter Decomposition

  • Functional ecology particularly for Mediterranean terrestrial ecosystems
  • Leaf litter decomposition
  • Decomposers: microorganisms, mesofauna
  • Specific, genetic and functional diversity
  • Link between plant diversity and decomposers diversity
  • Leaf chemistry, especially plant secondary metabolites
  • Environmental conditions, particularly soil water availability
  • Land use change
  • Climate change

Sustainable use of soils

  • Sustainability concept in land/soil
  •  Soil functions
  • Soil quality concept and indicators
  • Soil quality rating systems
  • Soil indicators in context of spatio-temporal scales
  • Soil maps and information systems
  • Pedometrics and pedotransfer functions (from soil data into decisions)
  • Soil-plant interactions
  • Soil forming factors
  • Plant nutrient elements in soil (mobility and availability)
  • Antagonism and interactions of plant nutrients in soil
  • Mechanisms of nutrient uptake
  • Role of fertilization on nutrient balances, crop productivity and soil fertility

Introduction to Soil Zoology

  • soil as a habitat for soil organisms
  • adaptations of soil organisms to their environment
  • soil biodiversity, taxonomic and functional assignments
  • soil organisms as decomposers for nutrient recycling
  • soil organisms as predators
  • soil organismic interactions
  • soil food web

Methods in Soil Zoology

Application and analysis of methods to understand epedaphic, hemiedaphic, and euedaphic soil micro-, meso-, and macrofauna

Secondary Metabolism of Plants

  • Plant secondary metabolites (PSM)
  • Production plant secondary metabolites
  • Types of PSM
  • Variations in productions of secondary metabolites
  • Functions of PSM
  • Allelopathy
  • Methods in allelopathy
  • Allelopathy in plant succession
  • Allelopathy in plant invasion
  • Use of allelopathy in agriculture

Soil Exploitation and Root Architecture

  • Root functions as water and nutrient uptake and plant anchoring in the soil
  • Interaction with biotic and abiotic soil environment
  • Vertical root distribution and root architecture
  • Distribution of roots and soil nutrients
  • Nutrient uptake from soil patches
  • Root architecture and soil exploitation
  • Root clustering in natural soils for optimized exploitation of aggregated resources

Soil Water Relations

  • Introduction to soil components and the description the soil as a three phases system consisting of (1) the solid phase, (2) the liquid phase and (3) the gaseous phase.
  • Soil water status, especially considering the soil water potential
  • Establishing connection between soil texture and porosity and providing a link to plant water availability
  • Water uptake and plant transpiration, especially in water-limited ecosystems
  • How is the water supply to plant roots linked to soil hydraulic conductivity
  • Water supply to plants with contrasting root architecture (link to the second lecture on plant roots)
  • Hydraulic lift and water re-distribution in dry environments

Soil Quality and Degradation

  • Soil degradation;
  • earth soil resources;
  • main threats to the soil: erosion, decline in organic matter, soil contamination, soil sealing, soil compaction, salinization, floods and landslides, desertification, reacidification;
  • main causes, consequences, prevention and rehabilitation of different soil threats.

Wetland Ecology and Carbon Fluxes

  • Detailed description and explanation of carbon cycling in wetlands and its particularity in comparison to the other types of ecosystems. The clarification of the role of wetlands in global carbon cycling, CO2 and CH4 emissions, their carbon sink function and explanation of all the factors influencing these processes and their links. Elucidation of wetland function in relation to climate in local and global scale.
  • The introduction into the history of wetland management, wetland protection and restoration. Basic overview about wetland losses due to human activities and highlighting of wetland ecosystem functions that are disturbed and lost due to these activities. Introduction of basic restoration ideas and aims with the overview of basic restoration decision manual. Presentation of different restoration techniques using different examples of restored wetlands (drained peatland, cut-away peatland, channeled stream, etc.). Presentation of specific aims and restoration measures on these real examples with emphasis on importance of monitoring and evaluation of restoration success.

Microbial Processes in Soil I

  • composition of microbial community
  • microbial growth in aerobic and anaerobic conditions
  • ecological stoichiometry
  • anaerobic food chain
  • soil enzymatic activity
  • key environmental factors affecting biological transformations in soils
  • carbon transformations, substrate availability and soil food web
  • nitrogen transformations, N availability gradient in soils
  • phosphorus transformations and availability in soils

Experimental Climate Change

  • definition of global & climate change in a scientific sense
  • understanding dynamic and pseudo-steady-state
  • grasp what is being done experimentally to understand climate change effects on ecosystems
  • grasp compromise between scientific objectives and technical solutions
  • elaborate strengths and weaknesses at the scale of 'local' and of 'global approaches
  • make link to soil related processes, understand constraints in studying these
  • organization of research at large scales, and why it also is a huge modeling challenge



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