|SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR
AIMS AND CONTENT
The teaching will provide knowledge on the functional adaptations of animals at the basis of adaptation to marine environments. Differerent case studies will be analysed, from protozoans to marine mammals, to understand the solutiaons adopted in different environments characterized by different abiotic variables.
AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES
Attendance to the lectures will allow the student to acquire basic knowledge to understand how different marine animals during evolution have adopted different strategies to survive and reproduce facing the physico-chemical characteristics of different marine environments, leading to large biodiversity. Students will be thus able to:
- know the main abiotic variables of the marine environment that affect organism physiology (T,S, O2, light) and the extent and duration of environmental changes in the main marine environments.
- describe osmotic changes between organisms and the environment and understand the strategies developed to maintain water and salt homeostasis in different organisms, in relation to their morpho-functional characteristics and type of environments
- describe the marine environment as a respiratory medium and understand the factors that regulate gas exchange, the role of respiratory epithelia, the mechanisms involved in gas transport, and the main characteristics of circulatory systems in different animal groups
- describe heat exchange between organisms and the environment, understand the effect of T on biological systems from the molecular to the organism level, the physiological adaptations to different environments, including extreme environments
- describe movement and floating strategies characteristics of different marine organisms, also in relation to behavior.
- know the general mechanism of main sensory organs and to understand and relate the evolution of different sensory systems to adaptation to different environments
Knowledge and understanding of these subjects will provide the student with the means to face the general problems of development and conservation of marine biodiversity also in the light of global changes and human impact on the marine environment.
Lectures will be given using multimedia presentations. Attendance to the lectures is strongly recommended.
The course will be focused on the presentation and discussion of the following topics:
- Main variables in the marine environment (T,S, O2, light). Extent and duration of their fluctuations. Energy and resource availability in the physiological responses to environmental variables. The effects of size.
Osmotic exchanges between organisms and the environment: balance of water and solutes, strategies in different organisms in relation to evolution and type of environment. Stenohaline and euryhalines. Somoconformity and osmoregulation in marine protozoans, molluscas, crustaceans, fish, amphibians, reptiles and birds. The gills as the major osomregulatory organ. Salt glands. Anadromous and catadromous species. Characteristics of epithelial and tubular extcretory organs and their evolution form invertebrates to vertebrates. Excretions of nitrogen catabolites.
Gas exchange: respiratory epithelia. The aqautic environment as a respiratory medium, charactetistics of aquatic respiration. The gills. Countercurrent exchange and renovation of respiratory medium in teleostean gills. Gills and lungs. Tracheae: structure and function. Gas transport in biological fluids: respiratory pigments. Circulatory systems.
Temperature: heat exchange between organisms and the environment. Effect of T onbiological systems. Ecothermy and Endothermy. Endothermy in fish. Physiological adaptations to low temperature in fish. Freezing tolerance.
Feeding and nutrition: pysiological processes and chemical energy. Photosyntheiss and other energy sources. Role of ATP. Nutrient. Enzymatic hydrolysiss. Endocellular and extracellular digestion. Absorption. Organization and functions of digestive systems. Motility of the gut. Examples of digestive systems in lower organisms.
Motility and flotations: muscle and locomotor activity. Swimming muscel in cephalopods and fish. Floating strategies. Gas gland in fish.
Sensing the environment in Marine organism. Sensory receptors and cells. Chemioreception, mechanoreception, photoreception. Production and reception of sounds and electrical fields.
- Poli, Fabbri : Fisiologia degli animali marini (Zanichelli)
- Teaching material provided by the teacher (bibliography, ppt presentations).
All teaching materials will be given to the students at the end of the course; part of it (scientific papers, ppt presentations) will be available on Aulaweb.
TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD
LAURA CANESI (President)
TERESA BALBI (President Substitute)
Oral examination. Two exams in the winter session and 5 in the summer session.
Assessment of learning goals will consist in an oral examination, that will evaluate the acquired knowledge on the basal aspects of the subject, the capacity to connect the different topics, and to apply theoretical knowledge to simple practical context. The quality of public, speaking, , the correct utilization of scientific language and the capacity of critical reasoning will be also evaluated.
Attendance to the lectures is strongly recommended