AGR/02 - 6 CFU - 1° Semester

Teaching Staff

Office: via valdisavoia, 5 Catania
Phone: +39 095 4783 465
Office Hours:

Learning Objectives

The discipline aims to provide students with the agronomic and environmental fknowledge of ecosystems for soil conservation and combating desertification. Part of the course is aimed at providing agronomic skills to identify and resolve problems relating to soil preservation and to combat desertification in the context of environment and the landscape safeguard, with a focus on Mediterranean-type ecosystems.

Cultural" preparatory skills are recommended in: botany, general chemistry and agronomy, such knowledge is to be considered important in order to follow the course.

Course Structure

For teaching, various teaching models will be adopted based on: frontal lectures which will be accompanied, with the involvement of the class, by a cooperative learning approach with exercises and in-depth seminars conducted by professionals. To achieve an ability to apply knowledge, group work is planned with the possible preparation of papers and analysis of case studies.
If teaching were given remotely or in mixed mode, it may be necessary to introduce changes with respect to previous statements, in line with the programme planned and outlined in the syllabus

Detailed Course Content

Basic Principles and Concepts Agronomy and Agroecology; Overview on the characteristics of the Mediterranean environment; The nature and properties of soils , soil sampling; Role of organic matter in soil; organic amendments on soil fertility; Role of microorganisms for soil conservation and fertility (Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria - symbiotic nitrogen fixing bacteria and mycorrhizal fungi)
Desertification: process, risk assessment and contrast; Loss of soil fertility: Erosion; Compaction; Salination and sodification; Conservative agriculture (blue farming); Agronomic soil conservation techniques ; Mention to: Water footprint, reforestation, and hydraulic and agrarian arrangements (Terracing and buffer strips); Outline of regional agri-environmental measures “Rural development Programme” (programma di sviluppo rurale - programmazione 2014-2020); Overview of reuse of treated wastewater and Impact of water harvesting techniques on soil water conservation
Protective functions of cover crops in perennial agriculture (case study); Agronomic management: meadows; legumes; Alfalfa, vetch; lolium spp., Festuca arundinacea, Dactylis glomerata; natural technology to contrast erosion and desertification as Prati armati and Hedges.

Textbook Information

1) Lesson notes.

2) Giardini L. l’Agronomia per conservare il futuro. Pàtron Editore, Bologna;

more sources for insights

3) Gliessman S.R. Agroecology: The Ecology of Sustainable Food Systems, Third Edition CRC press - ISBN-13: 978-1439895610; ISBN-10: 1439895619

4) Altieri Miguel A.; Nicholls Clara I.; Ponti Luigi - Agroecologia. Una via percorribile per un pianeta in crisi - Edagricole-New Business Media ISBN: 8850654863

5) BASSO FRANCESCO: Difesa del suolo e tutela dell’ambiente - 1995, pp.504, Editore Pitagora (Bologna) ISBN 88-371-0721-8;

6) Anton Imeson: Desertification, Land Degradation and Sustainability - A John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., Publication - ISBN 978-0-470-71448-5 (cloth) – ISBN 978-0-470-71449-2 (pbk.) 2011

7) COMBATING DESERTIFICATION WITH PLANTS Edited by Dov Pasternak and Arnold Schlissel - Proceedings of the conference Combating Desertification with Plants, held November 2-5, 1999, in Beer Sheva, Israel © 2001 Springer Science+Business Media New York

8) Khan Towhid Osman: Soil Degradation, Conservation and Remediation - ISBN 978-94-007-7589-3 ISBN 978-94-007-7590-9 (eBook) DOI 10.1007/978-94-007-7590-9 Springer Dordrecht Heidelberg New York London

9) Giardini L. – A come Agronomia. Pàtron Editore, Bologna;

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