Skip to content

Global Change and Forest Ecosystems

6 ECTS Padua Year 1 Semester 2 Elective Environmental sciences


The course introduces the students to:

  • the meaning of climate in a broad time scale perspective;
  • the role of different factors in regulating the climate;
  • the different tools and approaches to study climate change;
  • the effect of climate change on forests and ecosystems

The course is organized in the following 5 modules:

  • The climate system:
  1. the atmosphere, structure, composition, dynamics;
  2. the other components;
  • the role of forests within the climate system.
  • Causes of climate change:
  1. external and internal mechanisms;
  2. time scales of changes.
  • Defining the climate:
  1. instrumental vs proxi data;
  2. measurements vs reconstructions.
  • Tracking the changes:
  1. paleo and contemporary climate changes;
  2. climate models and future changes.
  • Studying and assessing the effects:
  1. physiological mechanisms;
  2. acclimation; monitoring and management;
  • the role of extreme climate events.

Learning outcomes

Students will acquire awareness and understanding to better cope with the most critical issues that forests, one of the key components of the climate system, will face in the next future in connection to global change.

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching and learning methods include lecture-based input, presentation and discussions of the reading assignments and field visits.

The material used for the course will be made available to students through the Moodle platform of the School.

Type of assessment

  • Individual and group
  • Written exam, Oral presentation
  • Multiple choice written test with few open questions plus oral presentation and group discussions. These latter according to the number of students.

    The assessment will be based on the following criteria:

    • oral presentation of a scientific article: 10%
    • written test with mainly close and few open questions: 85%
    • class participation: 5%

    Presentations will be graded for their content and the quality of exposition.


  • Location : Padua
  • ECTS granting : University of Padua
  • Organisation : University of Padua



Marco Carrer