Subject: Introduction to Biodiversity

Scientific Area:



62 Hours

Number of ECTS:




Overall objectives:

1 - OA1- To know the meaning of the term biodiversity according to CBD;
2 - OA2 - To understand the reasons that explain the patterns of distribution of Biodiversity.
3 - OA3- To understand that the survivorship of human-kind depends on biodiversity and its conservation.
4 - OA4- To know which are the main human activities that affect biodiversity and its consequences.


1 - Definition of Biodiversity.
2 - The value of biodiversity.
3 - Evolution and geographical distribution of biodiversity; diversity on islands; "natural" biodiversity, "rural" biodiversity and "urban" biodiversity.
4 - Threats to Biodiversity; Main activities of man that have impact on biodiversity: agriculture, fishing; trade, water; urban an rural development; florestal actives; changes in climate; nature protection;
5 - Growth of human populations and natural resources;
6 - Biodiversity Conservation and the sustainable development concept: ecotourism and ecoagriculture; agricultural diversity and genetically modified organisms; pests; IPM concept;


National Research Council , 1999 , Perspectives on Biodiversity: Valuing Its Role in an Everchanging World. , National Academic Press Washington
DAILY, G. , 1997 , Nature's services: societal dependence on natural ecosystems. , Washington: Island Press
GASTON, K. & SPICER, J. , 2004 , Biodiversity: An Introduction , Blackwell Publishing
HEYWOOD, V. , 1995 , Global biodiversity assessment , Columbia University Press
OSSOLA, A. & NIEMELA, J. (eds) , 2018 , Urban Biodiversity. From Research to Practice , Routledge
WENDE, W. , 2018 , Biodiversity Offsets European Perspectives on No Net Loss of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service , Springer International Publishing AG
UNEP , 1992 , Convention on biological diversity , Nairobi Kenya: UNEP
POTTER, C; COHEN, J & JANCZEWSKI D (eds) , 1993 , Perspectives on biodiversity: case studies of genetic resource conservation and development. , Washington: AAAS Pr
PIMM, S; RUSSELL, G; GITTLEMAN, J. & BROOKS. , 1995 , The future of biodiversity , Science

Assesssment methods and criteria:

Classification Type: Quantitativa (0-20)

Evaluation Methodology:
Lectures: expositive, using powerpoint presentations and other audiovisual techniques such as video; discussion of current issues related to biodiversity, namely, concepts, distribution, importance, threats, etc. Theoretical-practical classes: Particular cases will be approached and considered several texts / articles, fomenting the discussion and critical reasoning, on Biodiversity. Fieldwork: Students will observe in situ, biodiversity, threats to biodiversity (eg exotic plants and animals), Biodiversity value / ecosystem services. Assessment: 1 written test (50%) and a group work with report and presentation (50%).