Biological Diversity


(Course Code: 107KEΥ, Course outline)

Semester: 5 Teaching Credits: 3 ECTS Credits: 5 Type:
Optional Compulsory
Prerequisite Courses:  – Course type: Special background Instructor: Panayiotis Dimitrakopoulos

1. To understand basic concepts related to biodiversity.

2. To understanding the role of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning and the consequences of its reduction to human society.

3. To understand the impact of biological invaders and global changes on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.

Topics per Week:
  1. A brief history of a concept: why be concerned by biological diversity?
  2. Biodiversity through time
  3. Present-day biodiversity on earth – Threats to biodiversity (e.g. global changes, habitat fragmentation)- Recent and future extinctions.
  4. Biodiversity conservation and planning – Designing and management of Protected areas.
  5. Species distribution patterns (endemism, dispersal, barriers). Biotic relationships.
  6. Biodiversity patterns Ι:Geographical patterns, Island biogeography
  7. Biodiversity patterns ΙΙ: energy (productivity), climate, and structural factors (disturbance, heterogeneity).
  8. Measuring biological diversity
  9. Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning: theory and experiments
  10. Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning: searching for mechanisms
  11. Biodiversity and ‘stability’ of ecosystems
  12. Plant functional traits and ecosystem function
  13. Biodiversity and biological invasions

Laboratory exercises:

  1. The role of edaphic factor in shaping species diversity and community evenness
  2. Beta diversity and community productivity
Theory – Lectures
(hours / week)
Exercises – Laboratories
(hours / week)
Other Activities:  –

Laboratorial exercises (20%), written examination at the end of the semester (80%)


P. Dimitrakopoulos. Biological diversity (in Greek).

Basic Textbook:
  • Primack R.B., Αριανούτσου Μ., Δημητρακόπουλος Π. (Μτφ.: Αριανούτσου Μ., Δημητρακόπουλος Π.Γ., Διαμαντόπουλος Ι. Βαλάκος Ε., Παφίλης Π., Παντής Ι.). 2017. Βιολογία της Διατήρησης, Μία εισαγωγή. University Studio Press, 500 σελ., Θεσσαλονίκη. (ISBN: 978-961-12-2331-5).Η

  • Wilson E.O. 1992. The diversity of life. Penquin, ISBN: 0-14-016977-6. 406pp.
  • Magurran A. 2004. Measuring biological diversity. Wiley.
  • Blondel J. & Aronson J. 1999. Biology and Wildlife of the Mediterranean region. Oxford University press,Oxford.
  • Leveque J. & Mounolou J-C. 2003. Biodiversity. John Wiley & Sons
  • S Naeem, DE Bunker, A Hector, M Loreau, C Perrings.2009. Biodiversity, Ecosystem Functioning, and Human Wellbeing. Oxford.
Language: Greek
Internet Links: