Checking date: 20/10/2022

Course: 2023/2024

Biodiversity, Land and Water
Master in Global Sustainable Development and Global Governance (Plan: 473 - Estudio: 376)

Coordinating teacher: TRAVIESO BARRIOS, EMILIANO

Department assigned to the subject: Social Sciences Department

Type: Compulsory
ECTS Credits: 3.0 ECTS


¿ Understand the crucial importance of biodiversity for human society ¿ Understand how biodiversity is structured in space and time. ¿ Understand how is measured biodiversity. ¿ Understand the concepts of diversity at different spatial scales and the existence of different levels of ecological organization (species, communities, ecosystems and landscapes). ¿ Understand species responses to human activities and global change. ¿ Identification and understanding of the main human-induced threats to the environment and biodiversity in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.
Skills and learning outcomes
Description of contents: programme
-Dynamics of alteration of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, -Quality and functioning of ecosystems: levels of contamination, richness, cycling of materials, nutrients, energy flows. -Theories of environmental change. Biodiversity, catastrophic changes, demographic theories, climatic feedbacks. -Environmental challenges: Eutrophication, Desertification, Nature conservation, Climate adaptation and climate mitigation.
Learning activities and methodology
¿ Most of classes will be divided in two equally-parts. A theoretical session in which the teacher develops the most important elements of each topic and presents the crucial conceptual problems linked to the skills that students should acquire. Although the role of the students in these sessions is more passive, there are several instances in which discussion is proposed. ¿ In the second part of most classes, the teacher will propose practical exercises to students related to the topic under study. The group will be subdivided in a few working groups. Exercises will be either solving a problem, analyzing a paper, or reviewing a specific topic. These exercises will be sometimes followed by a brief presentation to the rest of the students.
Assessment System
  • % end-of-term-examination 40
  • % of continuous assessment (assigments, laboratory, practicals...) 60

Basic Bibliography
  • Cain, M. L., Bowman, W. D., & Hacker, S. D.. Ecology. Sinauer Associates, Incorporated.. 2008
  • Sodhi, N. S., & Ehrlich, P. R. (Eds.).. Conservation Biology for all. 2010. Oxford University Press
  • Taylor et al. . Campell Biology: Concepts & Connections. Pearson. 10th edition
Recursos electrónicosElectronic Resources *
  • IPBES · ): Global assessment report on biodiversity and ecosystem services of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services :
Additional Bibliography
  • Almond, R. E., Grooten, M., & Peterson, T. . Living Planet Report 2020-Bending the curve of biodiversity loss. World Wildlife Fund. 2020
  • Bastin, J. F., Finegold, Y., Garcia, C., Mollicone, D., Rezende, M., Routh, D., ... & Crowther, T. W. . The global tree restoration potential. Science, 365(6448), 76-79.. 2019
  • Bellard, C., Marino, C., & Courchamp, F.. Ranking threats to biodiversity and why it doesn¿t matter. Nature Communications, 13(1), 1-4.. 2022
  • Ceballos, G., Ehrlich, P. R., Barnosky, A. D., García, A., Pringle, R. M., & Palmer, T. M. . Accelerated modern human¿induced species losses: Entering the sixth mass extinction. . Science advances, 1(5), e1400253.. 2015
  • Des Roches, S., Pendleton, L. H., Shapiro, B., & Palkovacs, E. P. . Conserving intraspecific variation for nature¿s contributions to people. Nature ecology & evolution, 5(5), 574-582.. 2021
  • Diagne, C., Leroy, B., Vaissière, AC. et al. . High and rising economic costs of biological invasions worldwide. Nature 592, 571¿576. 2021
  • Hulme, P. E., Bacher, S., Kenis, M., Klotz, S., Kühn, I., Minchin, D., ... & Vilà, M.. Grasping at the routes of biological invasions: a framework for integrating pathways into policy. Journal of Applied Ecology, 45(2), 403-414.. 2008
  • IPBES. Global assessment report on biodiversity and ecosystem services of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. IPBES secretariat. 2019
  • Larsen, B. B., Miller, E. C., Rhodes, M. K., & Wiens, J. J.. Inordinate fondness multiplied and redistributed: the number of species on earth and the new pie of life. The Quarterly Review of Biology, 92(3), 229-265.. 2017
  • Mora C, Tittensor DP, Adl S, Simpson AGB, Worm B . How Many Species Are There on Earth and in the Ocean? . PLoS Biol 9(8): e1001127. . 2011
  • Penn, J. L., & Deutsch, C. . Avoiding ocean mass extinction from climate warming. Science, 376(6592), 524-526. 2022
  • Penn, J. L., Deutsch, C., Payne, J. L., & Sperling, E. A. . Temperature-dependent hypoxia explains biogeography and severity of end-Permian marine mass extinction. Science, 362(6419). 2018
  • Simberloff, Daniel, and Marcel Rejmánek, eds. . Encyclopedia of biological invasions. No. 3. Univ of California Press. 2011
  • Tilman, D., Clark, M., Williams, D. R., Kimmel, K., Polasky, S., & Packer, C. . Future threats to biodiversity and pathways to their prevention. Nature, 546(7656), 73-81.. 2017
  • Tollefson, J. . Humans are driving one million species to extinction. Nature, 569(7755), 171-172.. 2019
  • Zachos, F. E., & Habel, J. C. (Eds.). Biodiversity hotspots: distribution and protection of conservation priority areas. Springer Science & Business Media. 2011
Recursos electrónicosElectronic Resources *
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The course syllabus may change due academic events or other reasons.