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La Spezia, Italy

Abbate M.,ENEA | Bordone A.,ENEA | Cerrati G.,ENEA | Di Festa T.,ARPA Puglia | And 5 more authors.
Cryptogamie, Algologie | Year: 2012

In the last decades, blooms of Ostreopsis ovata are increasingly frequent in several Mediterranean coastal areas, sometimes causing problems to the public health. The quantification of O. ovata abundances is generally performed by quantifying the number of cells per gram of macroalga, often preventing the comparison of abundances from different sites if cell quantifications are performed on different algal species. In this paper we propose a sampling method based on the use of a modified plastic syringe designed to quantify benthic cells abundances independently from the type of substratum. The method was tested in the O. ovata monitoring carried out in the Gulf of La Spezia (Ligurian Sea) and along the Apulian coasts (Southern Italy) since 2007. In 2009 the "syringe" method was compared with the classic methodology used in national monitoring of O. ovata. The syringe method seems interesting in terms of time costs and effectiveness, both for sample collection and processing, allowing quick and simple sampling of several sites along the coastline. The technique turned out to be adequate when a fast and reliable estimate of O. ovata "reservoir" near the bottom was required, in order to forecast toxic algal blooms in coastal areas. © 2012 Adac. Tous droits réservés. Source


Scardala S.,Istituto Superiore di Sanita | Girolamo I.D.,Ministero dellAmbiente e della Tutela Del Territorio e Del Mare | Fattorusso E.,University of Naples Federico II | Funari E.,Istituto Superiore di Sanita | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Coastal Research | Year: 2011

In the last years Ostreopsis spp. blooms have been reported in several Italian coastal stretches, showing a clear trend towards their extension. In 2005, during summer, an O.ovata bloom occurring in the coastal area in front of Genoa was tentatively associated with some human effects. Symptoms like rhinorrea, cough, fever, conjunctivitis, bronchoconstriction with mild dyspnea, and wheezes were observed in people exposed to marine aerosols, possibly containing algal fragments and/or its toxin. With less severe symptoms, similar episodes have been sporadically recorded in other coastal areas. Up to these events, the institutional monitoring activities were focused only on the surveillance of planktonic microalgae whereas benthonic ones, such as Ostreopsis spp. were ignored. To fill this gap, in 2006 a group of experts was appointed by the Italian Ministry of Health with the task to elaborate specific guidelines to manage the possible riskassociated to Ostreopsis spp. blooms. After their formal endorsement, the guidelines were published in the official site of the Ministry and implemented by local structures. The guidelines identify surveillance activities to be carried out, subdividing them into the routine, alert and alarm phases. These guidelines are currently under revision in order to update the scientific background and refine the approach on the basis of the two-year application experience. © 2011 Coastal Education & Research Foundation. Source


Piazza V.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Ferioli A.,ARPA Emilia Romagna | Giacco E.,University of Genoa | Melchiorre N.,ARPA Liguria | And 6 more authors.
Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety | Year: 2012

A series of 10 intra-laboratory bioassays and an inter-laboratory assay involving nine laboratories, were performed to validate the use of Amphibalanus amphitrite larvae as test organisms for ecotoxicological studies. The standardization protocol utilized Cadmium Nitrate as a reference toxicant and larval immobilization (after 24 and 48h) as the end-point. The statistical data analysis showed high homogeneity in intra-laboratory EC 50 values among bioassay repetitions (coefficient of variation (CV)=15.8% after 24h and 16.9% after 48h); also CV values obtained in inter laboratory comparison exercise were not higher than the 50%, variation coefficient mentioned in the ISO standards for the precision of inter-laboratory assays. The results demonstrated that the protocol implemented for the balanus larval bioassay comply with the international standards both for intra- and inter-laboratory precision. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. Source


Isotta F.A.,Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology MeteoSwiss | Frei C.,Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology MeteoSwiss | Weilguni V.,Bundesministerium fur Land und Forstwirtschaft | Percec Tadic M.,Meteorological and Hydrological Service of Croatia | And 14 more authors.
International Journal of Climatology | Year: 2014

In the region of the European Alps, national and regional meteorological services operate rain-gauge networks, which together, constitute one of the densest in situ observation systems in a large-scale high-mountain region. Data from these networks are consistently analyzed, in this study, to develop a pan-Alpine grid dataset and to describe the region's mesoscale precipitation climate, including the occurrence of heavy precipitation and long dry periods. The analyses are based on a collation of high-resolution rain-gauge data from seven Alpine countries, with 5500 measurements per day on average, spanning the period 1971-2008. The dataset is an update of an earlier version with improved data density and more thorough quality control. The grid dataset has a grid spacing of 5 km, daily time resolution, and was constructed with a distance-angular weighting scheme that integrates climatological precipitation-topography relationships. Scales effectively resolved in the dataset are coarser than the grid spacing and vary in time and space, depending on station density. We quantify the uncertainty of the dataset by cross-validation and in relation to topographic complexity, data density and season. Results indicate that grid point estimates are systematically underestimated (overestimated) at large (small) precipitation intensities, when they are interpreted as point estimates. Our climatological analyses highlight interesting variations in indicators of daily precipitation that deviate from the pattern and course of mean precipitation and illustrate the complex role of topography. The daily Alpine precipitation grid dataset was developed as part of the EU funded EURO4M project and is freely available for scientific use. © 2013 Royal Meteorological Society. Source


Capello M.,University of Genoa | Cutroneo L.,University of Genoa | Castellano M.,University of Genoa | Orsi M.,University of Genoa | And 4 more authors.
Chemistry and Ecology | Year: 2010

Port dredging operations inevitably create a turbid plume around the dredge and it is necessary to follow the movement of this to impede its diffusion into the surrounding environment and reduce any negative impacts. To characterise the extension and concentration of the plume induced by dredging it is necessary to study the physical properties of the water, the residence time of the sediments in the water column and the diffusion velocity of the water and sediments. It is also essential to characterise the area and determine the specifics of the port environment under so-called normal maritime-traffic conditions. During the initial stage of such a study it is necessary to obtain measurements under diverse wind-wave conditions to characterise the physical features of the water column of the port area, the turbidity, the quantity and dimension of the suspended particulate matter and the current dynamics. In this article we present a series of physico-sedimentological operations to characterise a zone to be dredged based upon our experience during pre-dredging work in the Port of Genoa (Italy). © 2010 Taylor & Francis. Source

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