Subject: Natura Laboratory

Scientific Area:



40 Hours

Number of ECTS:




Overall objectives:

1 - A general knowledge of marine and terrestrial habitats.
2 - An awareness of diversity / biodiversity.
3 - An understanding of the fundamental aspects of ecology as auto­ecology and synecology.
4 - A general perception of the landscape and anthropic action on diversity.
5 - An awareness of the problems associated with field work, their preparation, planning, implementation, methodology and safety.
6 - Briefly describe a landscape / ecosystem / habitat.
7 - Recognize the dominant species in the major types of ecosystems
8 - Recognize Human activities on ecosystems.
9 - Differentiate and recognize some of the invasive species.
10 - Prepare a small expedition, including its planning for all logistical and security aspects.


1 - How to prepare a scientific expedition 1.1. Objectives, routes, guidance and mapping 1.2. Planning aspects of Intendency 1.3. Obtaining and recording data 1.4. Collection and preparation of specimens
2 - Biological Diversity 2.1. Macroalgae, fungi, lichens, bryophytes, ferns and seed plants 2.2. Invertebrates and Vertebrates
3 - Ecology 3.1. Autecology ­ altitudinal variation in the distribution and abundance of one or a few species of animals and plants. Brief reference to some methods. 3.2. Synecology ­ successional aspects 3.2.1. Climax communities and communities of substitution 3.2.2. Species characteristics and dominant
4 - 4. Landscape 4.1. Geology and geologic age 4.2. Topography, climate 4.3. Biogeography and landscape 4.4. Historical aspects of the landscape 4.5. The action of Man 4.5.1. Exotic and invasive species, effects on diversity 4.5.2. Agriculture, forestry plantations, urbanization of the territory


PRESS, J. R. & SHORT, M. J. , 1994. , Flora of Madeira ,
Borges P et al , 2008. , A list of the terrestrial fungi, flora and fauna flora of Madeira and Selvagens Archip ,
Garcia­del­Rey E. , 2011 , Field Guide to the Birds of Macaronesia: Azores, Madeira, Canary Islands, Cape Verde ,
Jardim R, Menezes de Sequeira M. , 2008 , As Plantas Vasculares (Pteridophyta e Spermatophyta) dos Arquipélagos da Madeira e das Selvagens. Pp 157­208 ,
Jesus J et al. , 2009 , Vertebrados terrestres autóctones dos Arquip. da Madeira e Selvagens ,
Mathias M et al. , 1999 , Guia dos Mamíferos Terrestres de Portugal Continental, Açores e Madeira ,
Serrano A et al. , 2010 , Terrestrial arthropods of Macaronesia?biodiversity, ecology and evolution Canfield MR. ,
. , 2011. , Field notes on science & nature , e. HU Press, Cambridge, MA
Quéro JC et al. , 1990. , CLOFETA I­III: Check­list of the fishes of the eastern tropical Atlantic , JNIC
Ferreira VMP , 2011. , Guia de campo da fauna e flora marinha de Portugal ,
Salvanes, A.G.V., Devine, J., Jensen, K.H., Hestetun, J.T., Sjøtun, K. & Glenner, H. , 2018 , Marine Ecological Field Methods: A Guide for Fisheries Scientists and Biologists , Wiley-Blackwell
MacGregor, A. , 2018 , Naturalists in the field: collecting, recording and preserving the natural world from the fifteenth to the twenty-first century , Koninklijke Brill
Leslie, C.W. , 2015 , The curious nature guide: explore the natural wonders all around you , Storey
Kilburn, B. , 2012 , Into nature: a guide to teaching in nearby nature , Back to Nature Network
Wheater, C.P., Bell, J.R. & Cook, P.A. , 2011 , Practical field ecology: a project guide , Wiley-Blackwell
Jerram, D. & Petford, N. , 2011 , The field description of igneous rocks (2nd ed.) , Wiley
Burton, C. & MacDonald, J.G. , 2008 , A field guide to the geology of Madeira , Geological Society of Glasgow

Assesssment methods and criteria:

Classification Type: Quantitativa (0-20)

Evaluation Methodology:
This course is taught intensively as fieldwork (one week of exclusive dedication). Besides the briefing which corresponds to an initial lecture and a final class (TP) the dominant type of classes are field classes. The initial briefing is taught by the professors that later will do the monitoring of students in a phased manner. Daily there will be briefings taught by accompanying preceding each oriented route. Students are divided into subgroups responsible, and daily rotating basis, for the collection and recording of data. There will be 8 hours of daily classes (type CT, except on the first day, only 4), students will overnight (4 nights) along the intended route in different locations. The assessment takes into account the following items: 1. Continuous assessment ­ based on the daily report of the teacher (75% of final grade). 2. Evaluation of an individual report ­ based on data produced by all the students (25% of final grade).