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Biodiversity of Croatian Fauna

Code: 45078
ECTS: 9.0
Lecturers in charge: izv. prof. dr. sc. Ivana Buj
izv. prof. dr. sc. Andreja Brigić
prof. dr. sc. Petar Kružić
Lecturers: izv. prof. dr. sc. Andreja Brigić - Seminar
prof. dr. sc. Petar Kružić - Seminar
Sara Pleše , mag. oecol. - Seminar

izv. prof. dr. sc. Andreja Brigić - Practicum
doc. dr. sc. Tvrtko Dražina - Practicum
prof. dr. sc. Petar Kružić - Practicum
Sara Pleše , mag. oecol. - Practicum
Take exam: Studomat
English level:


All teaching activities will be held in Croatian. However, foreign students in mixed groups will have the opportunity to attend additional office hours with the lecturer and teaching assistants in English to help master the course materials. Additionally, the lecturer will refer foreign students to the corresponding literature in English, as well as give them the possibility of taking the associated exams in English.

1. komponenta

Lecture typeTotal
Lectures 30
Practicum 30
Seminar 30
* Load is given in academic hour (1 academic hour = 45 minutes)
1. To analyse levels of biodiversity of certain area based on available data in a way that obtained results can be used in evaluation of environment.
2. To interpret data on fauna diversity in certain biotopes.
3. To design appropriate research of biodiversity hence to choose suitable sampling methods, data analysis and statistics.
4. To combine data on biogeography, plant associations, climate and fauna of particular area.
5. To use relevant literature for determination of certain groups of invertebrates and vertebrates in a way to achieve satisfying level of taxa determination.
6. To choose appropriate software and to calculate diversity indices and to construct diagrams which are relevant for valorisation of biodiversity.
7. To explain biogeographical specificities of Croatia and their influence on biodiversity patterns.
8. To analyse diversity of Croatian fauna in wider spatial perspective.
9. To name few endemic species in Croatia, to explain their importance and to discuss their risk of extinction.
10. To classify biogeographical regions of Croatia and to specify characteristic biotopes and species.

1. The term biodiversity, levels of biodiversity, alpha, beta and gamma diversity. Changes in biodiversity through geological time periods. Assessments of global species diversity. Diversity of certain animal phyla, levels of biodiversity knowledge for certain groups.
2. Patterns of biodiversity on Earth. Regulation of biodiversity. Species area relationship. Importance of biodiversity. Biogeographical specificities of Croatia and their influence on fauna diversity. Diversity of Croatian invertebrate fauna. Strict and broad endemics. Share on endemic taxa in Croatian fauna. Subterranean fauna.
3. Freshwater invertebrate fauna of Croatia. Influence of Neogene lake systems on fossil and recent gastropod fauna of Croatia. Classification of Croatian freshwater systems based on EU criteria. The importance of invertebrates as bioindicators.
4. Diversity of Annelida and Arthropoda in Croatia. Relicts and endemics.
5. Specificities in distribution patterns of Croatian entomofauna. Diversity of Echinodermata.
6. Diversity of marine fauna in Adriatic Sea (endemicity, knowledge level), patterns of diversity in the sea, sea biotopes in Adriatic Sea.
7. Basic data on history of colonization and extinction of amphibians, reptiles and mammals in Europe and Croatia. Methods of fossil age determination, phylogeographic analysis and molecular clock. Documented extinct and anthropogenically introduced species in Croatia.
8.Amphibians, reptiles and mammals: regional species richness and endemics, types of distribution and biogeographical affiliations, rules of change in gradient of altitudinal distribution, island fauna, risk of extinction. Overview of species classified by main types of biotopes and by feeding modes.
9. Biogeographical regions of land fauna: Walter climate diagrams, main plant species in climate zones, anthropogenic activity and successions. Phytogeographic and zoogeographic divisions; historical overview, classification of biogeographical regions by EEA. An example of biogeographical analysis of one area in Croatia, border of Mediterranean and continental regions. Characteristics of Istria and steppic influences in northeast part of Croatia.
10. Presentation of biodiversity of amphibians, reptiles and mammals of Croatia, and level of current knowledge on those groups. Overview of characteristic species in bigeogeographic regions of Croatia.
11. Diversity and features of freshwater fishes of Croatia, endemics and risk of extinction.
12. Basic features of marine fishes, risk of extinction.
13. Properties of Croatian ornithofauna.
14. Properties of migrations and Croatian birds.
15. Assessment of abundance, software packages for the assessment of population parameters, measures of heterogeneity, rarefaction. Whittaker graphical model, log normal distribution.

1. Determination techniques for certain animal groups
2. Description of biodiversity using functional and theoretical categories, determination of alpha and beta diversity on an example of ichthyofauna in several flowing waters (indices of diversity, Whittaker graphical model, diagram of K dominance, SHE analysis)
3. Comparison of biodiversity of several areas: rarefraction, PCA analysis
4. Calculation and comparison of measures of genetic diversity and gene flow
5. Identification of conservation priorities (operation conservation units, units of genetic management, elemental conservation units and evolutionary significant units) with respect to genetic diversity, species diversity and ecosystem diversity
6. Endemics and specificity of subterranean fauna
7. Construction of SAR (species area) diagrama and its use in assessments of diversity
8. Analysis of ABC (abundance biomass) curves and their interpretation
9. Analysis of Walter climate diagrams
10. Characteristics of climate zones communities
11. Assessment of population size using specific software packages
12. Overview of species and biotopes of certain groups of vertebrates
13. Calculation of heterogeneity indices
14. Identification of groups and species from Adriatic Sea
15. Methods of sampling, preparation and determination of entomofauna

Students have to write and present an essay on chosen biodiversity topics. Presentation is followed by discussion and evaluation. Working on an essay includes:

1. Selection of relevant essay topic
2. Literature search, use of the online data bases, search for older literature in libraries
3. Analysis of available data, essay writing with collaboration with mentor
4. Scientific writing, using proper style and referencing
5. Presentation preparation, use of certain tools for presentation
6. Presentation of seminar in front of teachers and students
7. Discussion on a seminar, analysis of communication skills, assessment of students achievements in essay
  1. Hawksworth, D. L. (ur.) 1995. Biodiversity: Measurement and Estimation. Chapman & Hall, London
  2. Radović et al (ur.) 2009. Biološka raznolikost Hrvatske. DZZP, Ministarstvo kulture RH, Zagreb
  3. Charles J.Krebs (1999 ) Ecological methodology. Addison Wesley Longman
  4. Gene S.Helfman,Bruce B Collette ,Douglas E.Facey(1997) Diversity of fishes, Blackwell Science Inc.
2. semester
Mandatory course - Regular module - Zoology
Consultations schedule: