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Environmental indicators



Environmental Indicators can be defined as measurable characteristics of ecological systems that respond to chemical, physical, and biological disturbance in a predictable way.
Research on this theme are thus focused on the relationships between living organisms and their physical environment . Our major research lines focus on a wide range of environments (from caves to rivers to agroecosystems) and model taxa (such as aquatic invertebrates, diatoms, spiders), with the aim of applying ecological theories to disturbed habitats affected by different human pressures (i.e. pollution, habitat fragmentation and global warming).

We develop and model new indices and approaches for their direct application for management purposes. Our experimental approaches include: field studies, laboratory activities (e.g. gas flux measurement, microscopy, fluorimetry, spectrophotometry), mesocosms (thermal chambers , artificial flumes) and data analysis with up-to-date statistical and modelling techniques.

The outcome of the research aims to a better knowledge of species and ecosystems, proposing science-based practices and management solutions to mitigate the anthropic
impact or even to restore both freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems.

Recent projects are dedicated to the impact of climate change on natural communities:
1) PRIN No Acqua is focused on the responses of communities and ecosystem processes in intermittent streams;
2) Progetto di Ateneo “The dark side of global change” deals with the response of cave dwelling species to global warming.

The research team provides external services for industries and laboratories involved in environmental and risk assessment. We have also many collaborations with natural Parks
and environmental agencies.

Last update: 21/11/2018 12:36
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