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Vegetation Analysis

Code: 100831 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2500251 Environmental Biology OB 3 2


Francisco Lloret Maya

Teaching groups languages

You can check it through this link. To consult the language you will need to enter the CODE of the subject. Please note that this information is provisional until 30 November 2023.


Ramon Perez Obiol
Miquel Ninyerola Casals


Despite the lack of official prerequisites, before taking this course it is very convenient to have passed Natural Environment Propection, Botany, Ecology, Analysis of Environmental Mapping, Physical Environment and Biostatistics.

Objectives and Contextualisation

The objective is to provide basic knowledge and methodological tools that allow students to recognizing the main vegetal formations of our geographical region, as well as interpreting the main processes that determine their structure and dynamics both locally and at regional level, and across different time scales.


  • Act with ethical responsibility and respect for fundamental rights and duties, diversity and democratic values.
  • Describe, analyse and assess the natural environment.
  • Exercise leadership.
  • Identify and interpret the diversity of species in the environment.
  • Interpret and design the landscape.
  • Manage information
  • Obtain information, design experiments and interpret results.
  • Sample, characterise and manipulate populations and communities.
  • Take account of social, economic and environmental impacts when operating within one's own area of knowledge.
  • Take sex- or gender-based inequalities into consideration when operating within one's own area of knowledge.
  • Take the initiative and demonstrate an entrepreneurial spirit.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Act with ethical responsibility and respect for fundamental rights and duties, diversity and democratic values.
  2. Actuar en l'àmbit de coneixement propi avaluant les desigualtats per raó de sexe/gènere.
  3. Analyse the components of the natural environment and human influence on the configuration of the different landscapes.
  4. Describe the components of the physical environment, identify the natural factors that determine the types of communities present and analyse the types of vegetation.
  5. Exercise leadership.
  6. Manage information
  7. Obtain information, design experiments and interpret results.
  8. Perform inventories of organisms, sample populations and identify communities.
  9. Recognise in the field the principal plants, animals and organisms that are characteristic to the communities in our environment.
  10. Take account of social, economic and environmental impacts when operating within one's own area of knowledge.
  11. Take the initiative and demonstrate an entrepreneurial spirit.


Part I. Regional analysis of vegetation

1. Basic concepts of vegetation biogeography

2. Dynamics of vegetation

3. Characteristics of the physical environment and the vegetation in the Iberian Peninsula

4. The vegetation of the Mediterranean basin

5. The vegetation of Europe

6. The great Biomes

8. Indicators of the evolution of the landscape

9. Climate dynamics and history of vegetation


Part II. Patterns and local dynamics of vegetation

10. Biological typologies of plants

11. Plant functional traits and functional diversity

12. Species composition: quantitative methods of vegetation analysis

13. Spatial distribution of communities: analysis of gradients

14. Species pool, dispersion and establishment

15. Plant community assembly and species coexistence

16. Plant succession and disturbance regime

17. Vegetation dynamics models




The learning activities used in the course will be the following:

1. Theoretical block

The theoretical part will be done mainly by master classes, recognizing that the theoretical and practical blocks are very integrated with each other.

Master classes:

Theoretical knowledge will be transmitted, mainly, in the classroom through master classes, with ICT support. Apart from the selected bibliography, students will have a diversified material for the follow-up of the classes.

2. Practical block

This block consists of two works (one for each part of the program) that students will do in groups and autonomously, according to  the instructions of teachers. In addition to their work they will have participative activities that will help them carry them out: field trips, classroom practical, seminar and theoretical sessions addressed to support the elaboration of works.


Field trip:

A two-day field trip will be done. That will allow students to know some of the main vegetation formations of Catalonia; this will the basis for  one of the two works of the program. Therefore, one of the two practical works will be based on this field trop and the evaluation of this work will also include the assistance and the activities carried out at  the field trip.

Tutored fieldwork:

The students will carry out an autonomous and supervised fieldwork. In this work they will have to carry out several field surveys that will be exposed in classroom practical sessions, including the design of the study, the results and their discussion.


3. Tutorials:

The schedule of the individualized tutorials will be specified by the teachers through virtual campus and by electronic means. There may also be group tutorials in the classroom with the aim of guiding the development of the works of the practical block.


The training activities include in a comprehensive way the search for innovative answers to the needs and demands of society, the social, economic and environmental impact of scientific knowledge, ethical values and respect for diversity, democratic values and fundamental rights and duties, and the assessment of gender inequalities.

Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Fieldtrip 16 0.64 1, 2, 10, 3, 4, 9
Master classes 28 1.12 1, 2, 10, 3, 4, 8
Practical Classroom sessions 10 0.4 1, 2, 10, 5, 6, 9
Seminar 1 0.04 5, 6, 7, 8
Type: Supervised      
Field work 20 0.8 5, 7, 11, 8, 9
Type: Autonomous      
Reports writting 31 1.24 1, 2, 10, 4, 5, 6, 11, 9
Study 40 1.6 3, 4, 6, 7


The evaluation will be based on activities corresponding to different types: exams, oral presentations in public, written reports, written tests in the classroom. The program is structured in two parts that comprise approximately half of the total. In each part there is a theoretical block and a practical one, as detailed below:

Theoretical block (55% of the grade)

The theoretical block is evaluated with two activities that correspond to two partial examinations worth each one 30% (first partial) and 25% (second partial) of the total note; they correspond to the two parts of the program.

There is a final exam to those students who have not obtained at least 5 points of each of the two partials exams. Therefore, these partial exams are eliminatory;  if a student obtains a grade greater than or equal to 5 for a given partial exam it will be considered that the respective part of the program is approved. If one of the two partials is not passed (grade less than 5), the final exam will only be done for this partial exam. If both partial exams are not passed, students must respond in the final exam to the program corresponding to the two partials. The final exam will not serve to raise the grade of the approved exams.

Once the final recovery exam has been made (if applicable), a grade of at least 4.5 must be obtained for each part to pass. 

Practical block (45% of the grade)

The practical block is structured in two works, which represent 20% (first part) and 25% (second part) of the total grade. These works comprise evaluable activities that include written reports (including support with ICTs), public oral presentations and group discussions. They may also include individual written tests on the activity carried out by each student.

In order to be able to pass this block, a grade of at least 4.5 of each one of the works must be obtained. 


The recovery system envisages a written test of recovery of the examinations of thefirst and second part, as well as a portfolio of practical work, particularly in the second part, where the different sequential deliveries, resulting from the work carried out, oral presentations and group discussions, allow a recovery of the activities.

Students will obtain the "Non-Valuable" qualification when the assessment activities carried out have a weighting percentage of less than 67 in the total grade.

Student’s assessment may experience some modifications depending on the restrictions to face-to-face activities enforced by health authorities.

Single evaluation system does not apply here.

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
First Part Exam 30 2 0.08 3, 4
First Part Work 20 0 0 1, 2, 10, 5, 6, 9
Second Part Exam 25 2 0.08 3, 4, 8
Second Part Work 25 0 0 1, 2, 10, 6, 7, 11, 8


BLANCO, E., CASADO, M.A., COSTA, M., ESCRIBANO, R., GARCIA, M., GENOVA, M., GOMEZ, A., GOMEZ, F., MORENO, J.C., MORLA, J.C., REGATO, P. & SAINZ, H. 1997. Los bosques ibéricos. Ed. Planeta. Barcelona

BOLÒS, O. 2001. La vegetació dels Països Catalans. Ed. Aster. Barcelona

BONHAM, C.D. 2013. Measurements for Terrestrial Vegetation. Wiley-Blackwell.

COLLINSON, A.S. 1977. Introduction to World Vegetation. G. Allen & Unwin Publ. London.

Flora Catalana. Catàleg de Flora: https://www.floracatalana.cat/flora/

FOLCH, R. 1986. La vegetació dels Països Catalans. Ed. Ketres. Barcelona.

FOLCH et al. 1984. Historia natural dels Països Catalans: Vegetació, volum 7. Ed. Enciclopèdia Catalana. Barcelona.

FOLCH et al. 1988. Biosfera. Ed. Enciclopèdia Catalana. Barcelona.

GARNIER, E., NAVAS, M.L., GRIGULIS, K. 2015. Plant Functional Diversity. Oxford Univ. Press.

KEDDY, P.A. 2017. Plant Ecology 2nd ed. Cambridge Univ. Press.

KENT, M. 2012. Vegetation description and data analysis, (2nd ed). Wyley-Blackwell Ed.

LLORET, F. 2022. La muerte de los bosques. Ed. Arpa

LLORET F., SOLER A., VAYREDA J., ESTEVAN H., TERRADAS J. (2009) Atles de les plantes llenyoses dels boscos de Catalunya. Ed. Lynx, Barcelona, 192 pp. Accès on line: http://oslo.geodata.es/ftp/llenyoses/

NINYEROLA M,. SERRA-DÍAZ J., LLORET F. Atlas de idoneidad topo-climática de leñosa. Accés on line: http://opengis.uab.es/IdoneitatPI/index.html

PIÑOL, J.  & MARTÍNEZ-VILALTA, J. 2006. Ecologia con números. Ed. Lynx. Barcelona.

SAEZ, Ll. & AYMERICH, P. 2022. Catalonia Checklist Vascular Plants 2021. Sáez & Aymerich.

TERRADAS, J. 2001. Ecologiade la vegetación. Ed. Omega. Barcelona.

van der MAAREL, E. 2005. Vegetation Ecology. Blackwell.

WALTER, H. 1988. Vegetació izones climàtiques del Món. Ed. PPV S.A. Barcelona.


Web links for different parts of the program will also be provided.


Miramon 8.2, R-Studio, PAST