Environmental Protection Agency of Friuli Venezia Giulia

Lauzacco, Italy

Environmental Protection Agency of Friuli Venezia Giulia

Lauzacco, Italy
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Pellegrini E.,University of Udine | Petranich E.,University of Trieste | Acquavita A.,Environmental Protection Agency of Friuli Venezia Giulia | Canario J.,University of Lisbon | And 3 more authors.
Environmental Geochemistry and Health | Year: 2017

Mercury (Hg) distribution in saltmarsh sediments and in three selected halophytes (Limonium narbonense, Sarcocornia fruticosa and Atriplex portulacoides) of a wetland system (Marano and Grado Lagoon, Italy) following a contamination gradient in sediments was investigated. The Hg uptake was evaluated at the root system level by calculating the enrichment factor (EF) and in the aboveground tissues by means of the translocation factor (TF). The related methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations in the halophytes were also investigated with regard to the location of the sites and their degree of contamination. Hg concentration in halophytes seemed poorly correlated both with the total Hg in rhizo-sediments and with the specific plant considered, supporting the evidence that the chemico-physical parameters of sediments could significantly affect metal availability for plants. Hg concentrations in roots increased with depth and were 20-fold higher than content measured in related rhizo-sediments (high EF). A low content of Hg is translocated in aboveground tissues (very low TF values), thus highlighting a kind of avoidance strategy of these halophytes against Hg toxicity. MeHg values were comparable between the two sites and among species, but the translocation from below- to aboveground plant tissues was more active. © 2017 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht


Emili A.,University of Trieste | Koron N.,Slovenian National Institute of Biology | Covelli S.,University of Trieste | Faganeli J.,Slovenian National Institute of Biology | And 3 more authors.
Applied Geochemistry | Year: 2011

Coastal areas in the northernmost part of the Adriatic Sea (Gulf of Trieste and the adjacent Grado Lagoon) are characterized by high levels of Hg, both in sediments and in the water column, mainly originating from the suspended material inflowing through the Isonzo/Soča River system, draining the Idrija (NW Slovenia) mining district, into the Gulf of Trieste. Hypoxic and anoxic conditions at the sediment-water interface (SWI) are frequently observed in the Gulf of Trieste and in the lagoon, due to strong late summer water stratification and high organic matter input. Mercury mobility at the SWI was investigated at three sampling points located in the Gulf of Trieste (AA1, CZ) and in the Grado Lagoon (BAR). Experiments were conducted under laboratory conditions at in situ temperature, using a dark flux chamber simulating an oxic-anoxic transition. Temporal variations of dissolved Hg and methylmercury (MeHg) as well as O2, NH4+, NO3-+NO2-, PO43-, H2S, dissolved Fe and Mn, dissolved inorganic C (DIC) and dissolved organic C (DOC) were monitored simultaneously. Benthic Hg fluxes were higher under anoxic conditions than in the oxic phase of the experiment. Methyl Hg release was less noticeable (low or absent) in the oxic phase, probably due to similar methylation and demethylation rates, but high in the anoxic phase of the experiment. The MeHg flux was linked to SO4 reduction and dissolution of Fe (and Mn) oxyhydroxides, and formation of sulphides. Re-oxygenation was studied at sampling point CZ, where concentrations of MeHg and Hg dropped rapidly probably due to re-adsorption onto Fe (Mn) oxyhydroxides and enhanced demethylation. Sediments, especially during anoxic events, should be, hence, considered as a primary source of MeHg for the water column in the northern Adriatic coastal areas. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


Emili A.,University of Trieste | Carrasco L.,CSIC - Institute of Environmental Assessment And Water Research | Carrasco L.,International Atomic Energy Agency | Acquavita A.,Environmental Protection Agency of Friuli Venezia Giulia | Covelli S.,University of Trieste
Environmental Science and Pollution Research | Year: 2014

Mercury (Hg) mobility at the sediment-water interface was investigated during a laboratory incubation experiment conducted with highly contaminated sediments (13 μg g-1) of the Gulf of Trieste. Undisturbed sediment was collected in front of the Isonzo River mouth, which inflows Hg-rich suspended material originating from the Idrija (NW Slovenia) mining district. Since hypoxic and anoxic conditions at the bottom are frequently observed and can influence the Hg biogeochemical behavior, a redox oscillation was simulated in the laboratory, at in situ temperature, using a dark flux chamber. Temporal variations of several parameters were monitored simultaneously: dissolved Hg (DHg) and methylmercury (MeHg), O2, NH4 +, NO3 - + NO2 -, PO4 3-, H2S, dissolved Mn2+, dissolved inorganic and organic carbon (DIC and DOC). Under anoxic conditions, both Hg (665 ng m2 day-1) and MeHg (550 ng m2 day-1) fluxed from sediments into the water column, whereas re-oxygenation caused concentrations of MeHg and Hg to rapidly drop, probably due to re-adsorption onto Fe/Mn-oxyhydroxides and enhanced demethylation processes. Hence, during anoxic events, sediments of the Gulf of Trieste may be considered as an important source of DHg species for the water column. On the contrary, re-oxygenation of the bottom compartment mitigates Hg and MeHg release from the sediment, thus acting as a natural "defence" from possible interaction between the metal and the aquatic organisms. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Petranich E.,University of Trieste | Acquavita A.,Environmental Protection Agency of Friuli Venezia Giulia | Covelli S.,University of Trieste | Covelli S.,Conisma Consorzio Nazionale Interuniversitario Per Le Science Del Mare | Emili A.,University of Trieste
Journal of Soils and Sediments | Year: 2016

Purpose: The Marano and Grado Lagoon (Italy) has been affected by trace metal(oid) contamination in the last century, especially mercury, from both industrial and long-term mining activities. The uptake and distribution of trace metal(oid)s in halophytes were determined in two selected salt marshes. To evaluate the potential activity of plants as phytoremediation, the bioconcentration and translocation factors (BCF and TF, respectively) were calculated. Materials and methods: In both salt marshes, individuals of Sarcocornia fruticosa L. and Limonium vulgare L., two of the most abundant halophytes in this environment, were sampled. The aboveground biomass (stems and leaves) was collected and sealed in plastic bags. Once the stems were removed, the belowground biomass and the attached rhizo-sediment were sampled using a single gouge auger sampler. The sediment cores obtained were sectioned on field to a maximum depth of 15 cm. The roots were carefully separated from the rhizo-sediment in the laboratory. The sediment, roots, leaves, and stems were freeze-dried, finely ground, and homogenized. Samples were totally decomposed, using a mixture of mineral acids in a closed microwave system, and analyzed for trace metal(oid) content by ICP-AES. The total Hg content in the solid phase was determined by DMA-80. Results and discussion: Metal(oid) concentrations in roots were usually up to one or two orders of magnitude higher than in stems and leaves. The exceptions are Cd and Ni, which levels were not detectable, and Cr in stems of both halophytes where the concentration reached up to four times more than in roots. Commonly, trace metal(oid) contents were higher in stems than in leaves, except for Zn. Considering all BCF data, a sequence of metal(oid)s preferentially transferred from sediment to belowground biomass of the two plants is Cd > Mn > As > Pb. This sequence does not coincide for the two salt marshes, except for Cd, probably due to the different source of metal(oid)s in sediments and/or some site-specific lithogenic properties. Metal(oid)s accumulated from rhizo-sediment were largely retained in roots as shown by TF values <1. Conclusions: The general trend arising from BCF and TF reveals that root tissues accumulate significantly greater amounts of metal(oid)s than the aerial part, thus indicating high plant bioavailability of the substrate metal(oid)s as well as their limited translocation to the aboveground biomass. Our results suggest that both salt marshes investigated act as a sink, and only sporadically as a possible source, for several trace metal(oid)s which are not promptly available for the environment. © 2016 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg


Tassan-Mazzocco F.,Environmental Protection Agency of Friuli Venezia Giulia | Felluga A.,Environmental Protection Agency of Friuli Venezia Giulia | Verardo P.,Environmental Protection Agency of Friuli Venezia Giulia
Aerobiologia | Year: 2015

Wind-carried pollen is universal outdoor and indoor components and is recognized as sources of respiratory allergies. Pollen information is important for determining clinical strategies in allergic patients, and several studies aim to forecast the presence of pollen in the atmosphere in order to reduce the risk of exposure for allergic patients. Forecasting models described in the literature are based on meteorological parameters requiring long historical series of coupled meteorological and pollen monitoring data as well as needing local calibration to produce reliable results. For this study, three different forecasting methods have been developed: two of them have shown to be suitable for foreseeing onset, abundance and duration of pollen presence in the atmosphere for the Gramineae and the Urticaceae families of allergenic plants being monitored in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region (north-eastern Italy). © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


Pezzetta E.,Environmental Protection Agency of Friuli Venezia Giulia | Lutman A.,Environmental Protection Agency of Friuli Venezia Giulia | Martinuzzi I.,Environmental Protection Agency of Friuli Venezia Giulia | Viola C.,Environmental Protection Agency of Friuli Venezia Giulia | And 2 more authors.
Environmental Earth Sciences | Year: 2011

High amounts of iron, up to 14 mg/L, were found in groundwater samples from Marano Lagoon in the Friuli Venezia Giulia Plain (northeast Italy). In order to characterize groundwater hydrochemistry in the area, an investigation has been conducted on 35 wells that were monitored since 2006. Leaching tests were performed (under anaerobic conditions with deionized and saline waters) on two core samples in the area to study the iron release from soils to groundwater. Collected data indicated the main role of salinity in metal leaching and highlighted spatial correspondence between high levels of chloride and iron. To understand the mechanism of groundwater salinization, sulphate/chloride ratio has been investigated and a statistical relation between salinity, pH and iron was found. These data do not show any relation between past activities and high iron groundwater contents. High iron concentrations are diffuse in the whole area and therefore comparable to background values. Consequently, the study states that no remediation plan should have been made for iron concentrations in this area. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

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