Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research

Rome, Italy

Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research

Rome, Italy
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Novelli L.,Logica | Vianello M.,Municipality of Venice | Bonadonna L.,Italian National Institute of Health | Forte T.,Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research
International Journal of Social Ecology and Sustainable Development | Year: 2010

The kinematic approach to water monitoring of rivers and lakes was by Archimedes Logica under the EU initiatives (LIFE1996) for the monitoring of the Lagoon of Venice. These systems were limited to the measurement of typical basic parameters: pH, Eh, salinity, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, electrical conductivity, temperature and immersion depth. However, this earlier system was unable to help against pollution from hydrocarbons. In this paper, the authors present a new kinematic monitoring system named AQUARIUS, which integrates a new generation of automatic chemical and biological analyzers. Automatic sampling and measurement equipment for micro-organism discrimination and counting are present, especially for detecting dangerous species like toxic algae. This article describes the wide spectrum of applications of the new AQUARIUS system: safety control of freshwater reservoirs, detection of urban and agriculture impacts on inland waters and early warning detection of man-made accidents, which are aided by the adoption of new mobile measurement equipment and broadband data channels offered by the modern 3G network. Copyright © 2010, IGI Global.


Lauritano C.,Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn | Carotenuto Y.,Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn | Vitiello V.,Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research | Buttino I.,Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research | And 4 more authors.
Marine Genomics | Year: 2015

Diatoms are eukaryotic unicellular plants that constitute one of the major components of marine phytoplankton, comprising up to 40% of annual productivity at sea and representing 25% of global carbon-fixation. Diatoms have traditionally been considered a preferential food for zooplankton grazers such as copepods, but, in the last two decades, this beneficial role has been challenged after the discovery that many species of diatoms produce toxic metabolites, collectively termed oxylipins, that induce reproductive failure in zooplankton grazers. Diatoms are the dominant natural diet of Calanus sinicus, a cold-temperate calanoid copepod that supports secondary production of important fisheries in the shelf ecosystems of the Northwest Pacific Ocean, Yellow Sea, Sea of Japan and South China Sea. In this study, the effect of the oxylipin-producing diatom Skeletonema marinoi on C. sinicus has been evaluated by analyzing expression level changes of genes involved in defense and detoxification systems. Results show that C. sinicus is more resistant to a diet of this diatom species in terms of gene expression patterns, compared to the congeneric species Calanus helgolandicus which is an important constituent of the temperate waters of the Atlantic Ocean and northern Mediterranean Sea. These findings contribute to the better understanding of genetic and/or phenotypic flexibility of copepod species and their capabilities to cope with stress by identifying molecular markers (such as stress and detoxification genes) as biosensors for environmental perturbations (e.g. toxins and contaminants) affecting marine copepods. © 2015 The Authors.


Manfra L.,Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research | Manfra L.,CNR Institute for Coastal Marine Environment | Savorelli F.,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency | Di Lorenzo B.,Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research | And 19 more authors.
Ecological Indicators | Year: 2015

The brine shrimp, Artemia spp., is widely used in ecotoxicology as a target biological model. Although several protocols were available in the early 1980s, only the 24-h acute mortality toxicity test was evaluated in a European intercalibration exercise during that period. Nevertheless, documentation of standard methods serving to provide specifications, guidelines or detailed characteristics of the 24-h protocol is still unavailable. This paper present the results of an intercalibration study of three toxicity-testing protocols using Artemia franciscana: (a) the 24-h static acute mortality test, (b) the 48-h static hatching test and (c) the 14-d static-renewal long-term mortality test. A first tier of experiments was conducted by a reference laboratory, which investigated the repeatability of the three methods. The feasibility and reproducibility of these protocols were then investigated by an intercomparison exercise involving 11 participants for the acute mortality test, seven for the acute hatching test and nine for the long-term mortality test. Protocols were tested on reference toxicants (copper sulphate pentahydrate and sodium dodecyl sulphate). The coefficients of variation were <20% and <50% for intra- and interlaboratory activities, respectively. These results encourage the standardization of the proposed methods and their use as regulatory procedures. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


Libralato G.,University of Venice | Prato E.,CNR Institute for Coastal Marine Environment | Migliore L.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Cicero A.M.,Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research | And 2 more authors.
Ecological Indicators | Year: 2016

Artemia spp. is an historically popular biological model still requiring an official internationally based standardization. Several endpoints are currently available. Short-term acute endpoints include biomarker (acetylcholinesterase; heat stress proteins; lipid peroxidation; thiobarbituric acid reactive substances; thioredoxin reductase; glutathione-peroxidase; glutathione S-transferase; glutathione reductase; aldehyde dehydrogenase; and adenylpyrophosphatase and Fluotox), hatching (dry biomass, morphological disorders and size), behavioral (swimming speed and path length), teratogenicity (growth), and immobilization (meaning mortality after 5-30 s observation). Long-term chronic tests focus on growth, reproduction and survival or mortality after 7-28 d exposure from larval to adulthood stage. We analyzed each test looking at its endpoint, toxicant and experimental design including replicates, exposure time, number of exposed cysts or organisms and their relative life stage, exposure conditions during hatching and testing (salinity, pH, light intensity, aeration dilution media, and food supply), type of testing chambers, and quality assurance and quality control criteria. Similarities and differences between the identified approaches were highlighted. Results evidenced that hatching 24 h short-term and 14 d long-term mortality are the most promising Artemia spp. protocols that should go forward with international standardization. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Rotini A.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Manfra L.,Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research | Canepa S.,Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research | Canepa S.,University of Genoa | And 2 more authors.
Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology | Year: 2015

Artemia sp. is extensively used in ecotoxicity testing, despite criticisms inherent to both acute and long-term tests. Alternative endpoints and procedures should be considered to support the use of this biological model. The hatching process comprises several developmental steps and the cyst hatchability seems acceptable as endpoint criterion. In this study, we assessed the reliability of the hatching assay on A. franciscana by comparing with acute and long-term mortality tests, using two chemicals: Diethylene Glycol (DEG), Sodium Dodecyl Sulphate (SDS). Both DEG and SDS tests demonstrated a dose dependent hatching inhibition. The hatching test resulted more sensitive than acute mortality test and less sensitive than the long-term one. Results demonstrate the reliability and high sensitivity of this hatching assay on a short time lag and support its useful application in first-tier risk assessment procedures. © 2015 Springer Science+Business Media New York


Ciccarese L.,Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research | Mattsson A.,Dalarna University | Pettenella D.,University of Padua
New Forests | Year: 2012

Global deforestation and forest degradation have led to massive loss of biodiversity and decline of ecosystem services. Against this prospect, it is important not only to protect, but also to restore forest ecosystems. The paper analyzes the current and future role of the restoration of forests and degraded lands starting with the definition of various techniques, scales and objectives of forest restoration. Three key motivations for and targets of forest restoration are then discussed: forest biodiversity protection, biomass production, climate change mitigation and adaptation. The paper also briefly discusses three tools of increasing relevance for supporting forest restoration policies: the development of forest nursery techniques and the improvement of quality of forest reproductive material, the use of standard and certification tools, and financing of restoration investments, including projects aimed at reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. We conclude by making some final remarks on the future challenges of forest restoration policies. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


Gallo A.,Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn | Boni R.,University of Basilicata | Buttino I.,Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research | Tosti E.,Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn
Nanotoxicology | Year: 2016

Nickel nanoparticles (Ni NPs) are increasingly used in modern industries as catalysts, sensors, and in electronic applications. Due to this large use, their inputs into marine environment have significantly increased; however, the potential ecotoxicological effects in marine environment have so far received little attention. In particular, little is known on the impact of NPs on gamete quality of marine organisms and on the consequences on fertility potential. The present study examines, for the first time, the impact of Ni NPs exposure on sperm quality of the marine invertebrate Ciona intestinalis (ascidian). Several parameters related with sperm status such as plasma membrane lipid peroxidation, mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), intracellular pH, DNA integrity, and fertilizing ability were assessed as toxicity end points after exposure to different Ni NPs concentrations. Ni NPs generate oxidative stress that in turn induces lipid peroxidation and DNA fragmentation, and alters MMP and sperm morphology. Furthermore, sperm exposure to Ni NPs affects their fertilizing ability and causes developmental anomalies in the offspring. All together, these results reveal a spermiotoxicity of Ni NPs in ascidians suggesting that the application of these NPs should be carefully assessed as to their potential toxic effects on the health of marine organisms that, in turn, may influence the ecological system. This study shows that ascidian sperm represent a suitable and sensitive tool for the investigation of the toxicity of NPs entered into marine environment, for defining the mechanisms of toxic action and for the environmental monitoring purpose. © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


PubMed | National Taiwan Ocean University, Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research and Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn
Type: | Journal: Marine genomics | Year: 2015

Diatoms are eukaryotic unicellular plants that constitute one of the major components of marine phytoplankton, comprising up to 40% of annual productivity at sea and representing 25% of global carbon-fixation. Diatoms have traditionally been considered a preferential food for zooplankton grazers such as copepods, but, in the last two decades, this beneficial role has been challenged after the discovery that many species of diatoms produce toxic metabolites, collectively termed oxylipins, that induce reproductive failure in zooplankton grazers. Diatoms are the dominant natural diet of Calanus sinicus, a cold-temperate calanoid copepod that supports secondary production of important fisheries in the shelf ecosystems of the Northwest Pacific Ocean, Yellow Sea, Sea of Japan and South China Sea. In this study, the effect of the oxylipin-producing diatom Skeletonema marinoi on C. sinicus has been evaluated by analyzing expression level changes of genes involved in defense and detoxification systems. Results show that C. sinicus is more resistant to a diet of this diatom species in terms of gene expression patterns, compared to the congeneric species Calanus helgolandicus which is an important constituent of the temperate waters of the Atlantic Ocean and northern Mediterranean Sea. These findings contribute to the better understanding of genetic and/or phenotypic flexibility of copepod species and their capabilities to cope with stress by identifying molecular markers (such as stress and detoxification genes) as biosensors for environmental perturbations (e.g. toxins and contaminants) affecting marine copepods.

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