Subject: Terrestrial Biodiversity

Scientific Area:



66 Hours

Number of ECTS:




Overall objectives:

1 - Taking into account the "philosophy" of the master's degree, this UC has as main and general objective to complement the contents considered in the UC Introduction to Biodiversity, at terrestrial level. Methodological aspects will be emphasized. The main objectives will be: OA1- To know how to program studies / programs / projects for measurement / quantification of Biodiversity.
2 - OA2- To know how to measure terrestrial Biodiversity at their various levels.
3 - OA3- To know the particularities, the main terrestrial taxa.


1 - Levels and values of terrestrial biodiversity
2 - Main taxonomic groups. The Madeira Archipelago Models
3 - Measuring terrestrial Biological Diversity
3.1 - The Planning: Purpose of the evaluation and monitoring ; - definition of objectives, methods, strategies for sampling, analysis and interpretation of data.
3.2 - Methods of evaluation of terrestrial Biodiversity: Objectives of the different methods. Local assessments and selection of areas.
3.3 - Habitats: assessment and monitoring of habitats.
3.3.1 - Key Biodiversity Areas.
3.4 - Species: Censuses, evaluation and monitoring of species
3.4.1 - General principles and methods for species-counts (e.g. trapping and methods of marking and recapture).
3.4.2 - The biological diversity indices
3.4.3 - The treatment of the data and interpretation of the results.
3.4.4 - Attributes to assess the condition; general methods; evaluation criteria for the conservation of several taxonomic groups.
3.5 - Measurement of genetic diversity.


BARNES, M. &, BREEN, G (eds.) , 2010 , Genetic Variation Methods and Protocols , Humana Press
BORGES, P. et al (eds) , 2008 , Listagem dos fungos, flora e fauna terrestres dos Arquipélagos da Madeira e Selvagens , DRAmb e Univ.Açores
FRANKHAM, R. et al. , 2002 , Introduction to conservation genetics. , Cambridge University Press
HEYWOOD, V. , 1995 , Global biodiversity assessment , New York NY: Columbia Univ Pr.
HILL, D.; FASHAM, M.; TUCKER, G.; SHEWRY, M. & SHAM, P. , 2005 , Handbook of Biodiversity Methods. Survey, Evaluation and Monitoring , Cambridge University Press
MAGURRAN, A. , 2004 , Measuring Biological Diversity , Blackwell Science Ltd.
MAGURRAN, A. & McGILL, B. (eds) , 2011 , Biological Diversity. Frontiers in Measurement and Assessment , Oxford University Press
MYERS, N.; MITTERMEIER; R.; MITTERMEIER, C.; da FONSECA, G. & KENT, J. , 2000 , Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities , Nature

Assesssment methods and criteria:

Classification Type: Quantitativa (0-20)

Evaluation Methodology:
Lectures: expositive, with powerpoint presentations and other audiovisual techniques such as video; discussion of current issues related to terrestrial biodiversity, namely, measurement methodologies, project planning / monitoring and inventory programs. Theoretical-practical classes: Particular cases will be addressed, the data collected in the field will be treated and the results interpreted and discussed, fostering familiarization with quantification methods, discussion and critical reasoning on terrestrial Biodiversity. Fieldwork: students will quantify the terrestrial biodiversity of some sites using different methods on various taxa (eg plants and animals). Assessment: 1 test (50%) and a group work with report and presentation (50%).