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Biodiversity and Macroecology module

1. Introduce the concept of biodiversity and characterize the importance of biological diversity in its multiple facets ( genetic , species, ecosystems ), but with emphasis on species richness and patterns of abundance and distribution of species;

2. Demonstrate that there are several patterns in ecology that help us to establish models to quantify the richness and rarity of species;

3. Establish the relationship between habitat fragmentation, population dynamics, island biogeography and conservation;

4. Mastering various tools ecological modelling.

Molecular Ecology module

1. Presentation of the field of Molecular Ecology and its multidisciplinary;

2. Understanding of the need for conservation of various levels of biodiversity and genetic diversity in particular;

3. Revision of basic concepts about evolution, genetic material and population genetics;

4. Importance of molecular data for biodiversity conservation.


Module Biodiversity and Macroecology

1. Biodiversity – definition and measurement;

2. Species richness: Local (alpha), temporal or spatial differentiation (beta ), and regional (gamma);

3. Measures of beta diversity: additive vs. multiplicative;

4. Non-parametric estimators of species richness;

5. Relationship between local and regional species richness;

6. Rarity;

7. The interspecific relationship between abundance and distribution ;

8. Species-area relationship , the " Theory of Island Biogeography " and applications in Conservation Biology

Module Molecular Ecology

1. Usefulness of genetic markers;

2. Molecular Biology Techniques used in Molecular Ecology;

3. Quantification of genetic diversity;

4. Conservation Genetics - definition and objectives , protected areas , management of endangered species;

5. Population Genetics - Hardy- Weinberg equilibrium , genetic drift , inbreeding , gene flow , selection , etc. factors of evolution.

Teaching Methodologies

Information available soon.


Brown, J.H. (1995). Macroecology. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London.

Freeland, J.R., Petersen, S.D. & Kirk, H. (2011). Molecular Ecology, end Ed. Wiley, Blackwell, London.

Gaston K.J. (1996). Biodiversity -A Biology of Numbers and Difference. Blackwell Scientific Publications, London.

Gaston K.J., Blackburn, T.M. & Lawton, J.H. (1997). Interspecific abundance-range size relationships: an appraisal of mechanisms. Journal of Animal Ecology, 66, 579-601.

Gaston, K.J. & Spicer, J. (2004). Biodiversity - An Introduction. 2nd Edition. Blackwell Scientific Publications, London.

Lawton, J.H. (2000). Community ecology in a changing world. International Ecology Institute, Oldendorf/Luhe, Germany.

Rosenzweig, M.L. (1995). Species diversity in space and time. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Whittaker, R.J., Willis, K.J. & Field, R. (2001). Scale and species richness: towards a general, hierarchical theory of species diversity. Journal of Biogeography, 28, 453-470.



ECTS Credits



  • Teórico-Práticas - 46 hours

Evaluation Methodology

  • Theoretical component: 60%
  • Theoretical-practical component: 40%