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Biodiversity and Plant Evolutionary Ecology

D Semester
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Hours per week





Objectives of the course (preferably expressed in terms of learning outcomes and competences):  Adequate knowledge about a) evolutionary events in the history of plant life b) flora and vegetation of terrestrial ecosystems c) plant taxonomy and plant identification d) plant uses and e) bioinformatics in plant biodiversity issues.

Course contents: Introduction: Temporal scales and biodiversity. Part A. Historical evolution of floras from the Precambrian up to the Tertiary, Plant Kingdoms, Phytogeographical areas of Europe, Historical evolution of Greek Flora, Flora and Vegetation of Greek terrestrial ecosystems, Vegetation of Cretan terrestrial ecosystems. Part B. Phylogeny and the construction of phylogenetic trees, Evolutionary events in the history of plant life, Overview of green plant phylogeny, Algae, Fungi, Lichens, Bryophytes, Pteridothytes, General characteristics and taxonomy: Aceraceae, Amaryllidaceae, Anacardiaceae, Apiaceae, Araceae, Araucariaceae, Berberidaceae, Betulaceae, Boraginaceae, Brassicaceae, Cactaceae, Campanulaceae, Cannabaceae, Caryophyllaceae, Cistaceae, Compositae, Convolvulaceae, Corylaceae, Cupressaceae, Cyperaceae, Ericaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Fabaceae, Fagaceae, Geraniaceae, Gingoaceae, Iridaceae, Juglandaceae, Labiatae, Liliaceae, Malvaceae, Myrtaceae, Oleaceae, Orchidaceae, Palmaceae, Papaveraceae, Pinaceae, Platanaceae, Plumbaginaceae, Poaceae, Primulaceae, Ranunculaceae, Rosaceae, Rubiaceae, Salicaceae, Ulmaceae. Part C. Plants in history and culture, Introduction in secondary metabolism, Aromatic plants, Pharmaceutical plants, Bee plants, Foraging plants, Weeds, Poisonous plants, Industrial plants, Plants in biomonitoring and bioremediation, Genetically modified plants, Invasive plants. Part D. Bioinformatics and Plant Biodiversity.

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The Department of Biology of the University of Crete was established in 1981 and is today an internationally recognized center for contemporary university education and research in the field of Biology.

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