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Marchetti M.,Universitadegli Studi del Molise | Tognetti R.,Universitadegli Studi del Molise | Lombardi F.,Universitadegli Studi del Molise | Chiavetta U.,Universitadegli Studi del Molise | And 12 more authors.
Plant Biosystems | Year: 2010

The maintenance of certain levels of old forest represents a cornerstone of the EU's biodiversity management strategy. A consensus on a single general ecological definition of old-growth is particularly difficult in Mediterranean Europe. The present paper deals with old-growth forests and persistent woodlands in the Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park (PNCVD) to give an ecological understanding of forest complexity and dynamics under a multiscale and multidisciplinary perspective. The multiscale approach ranged from the identification and mapping of potential old-growth stands at landscape scale to a two-level field review of forest stand features. Field sampling involved a multidisciplinary team of researchers in forest structure, pedologic environment, soil microbial activity, flora and vegetation and deadwood components. The research provided sound knowledge about old-growthness features in the PNCVD that constitutes a unique case study in the whole Mediterranean basin. The integration of results allowed to: identify main ecosystem functions and the related services of the old-growth forests in the study area; distinguish persistent woodlands, multi-aged stands with old trees deriving from nineteenth-century management practices, from old-growth forests sensu strictu; recognize indicators of direct and indirect impacts of human activities; suggest effective practices for sustainable management in the Mediterranean context. © 2010 Società Botanica Italiana.

Palazzo M.,Universitadegli Studi Del Molise | Vizzarri F.,Universitadegli Studi Del Molise | Cinone M.,University of Bari | Corino C.,University of Milan | Casamassima D.,Universitadegli Studi Del Molise
Animal | Year: 2011

Two different doses of a natural extract titrated in phenylpropanoid glycosides (PPGs) were evaluated for their effect on blood parameters and plasma oxidative status in pairs of intensively reared Italian hares. The study lasted 210 days, during which 45 couples of hares were divided into three homogeneous groups. A control group (CON) was fed a control diet while the two experimental groups were fed a diet supplemented with 1 or 2 kg/t of a supplement titrated in PPGs. Blood samples were obtained at 0, 70, 140 and 210 days and assayed for plasma lipid profiles, bilirubin, haematological parameters and indicators of oxidative status (reactive oxygen metabolites (ROMs), thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), vitamins A and E). Although dietary treatment did affect the levels of triglycerides, total cholesterol and total bilirubin, all of which decreased markedly (P < 0.05), while significantly increasing the (P < 0.01) HDL cholesterol values, it also significantly improved the oxidative status of the blood, which displayed an increase in both vitamin E (P < 0.01) and vitamin A (P < 0.05) and a decrease in ROMs (P < 0.01) and TBARS (P < 0.05). The improvements in the blood parameters, lipid profile and plasma oxidative status continued to increase significantly as the trial progressed, indicating a positive effect with increased length of treatment. The results of this study demonstrate an important role for feed supplementation with respect to antioxidant activity on some blood parameters, including the lipid profile and the oxidative status of blood. © 2011 The Animal Consortium.

Fratianni F.,CNR Institute of Food Sciences | Cardinale F.,CNR Institute of Food Sciences | Russo I.,CNR Institute of Food Sciences | Iuliano C.,CNR Institute of Food Sciences | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Microencapsulation | Year: 2014

The probiotic yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae boulardii, was microencapsulated in a mixture of alginate-inulin-xanthan gum, and its ability to grow in berry juice and survive 4 weeks of storage at 4-°C was determined. Exposure of the yeast in these forms to artificial gastrointestinal conditions was also assessed. Encapsulation significantly enhanced cell viability after fermentation and storage compared with the free yeast (7.59-log10 colony forming units/ml versus 6.98-log10 colony forming units/ml, respectively) and protected it from exposure to a simulated gastrointestinal transit after 4 weeks of storage. Conversely, a dramatic loss of viability was exhibited by free yeast after 4 weeks of storage, and viability values closer to zero (0.23-log10-cfu/ml) were found after the simulated gastrointestinal treatment. Microcapsules were capable of absorbing a certain amount of polyphenols and anthocyanins. This work, based on use of microencapsulated probiotic yeasts, might represent the starting point for the development of new functional foods or functional ingredients. Microcapsules were capable to absorb, from berry juice, a certain amount of anthocyanins which, maintaining their native form after the in vitro gastrointestinal transit, might in vivo therein be transformed into other, simpler molecules, with beneficial effect on microflora and human health too. © 2014 Informa UK Ltd. All rights reserved: reproduction in whole or part not permitted.

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