01 Mar. 2016 - Matteo Ruocco

20160301 Seminario Ruocco

Assessing biodiversity in ponds of central Emilia

Presenta: Matteo Ruocco

Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia

There are more than 304 millions of water bodies on our planet, and ponds represent more than the 90% of the total number and the 30% in terms of occupied surface. Functionally different from lakes, they offer a high variability of habitats and that makes them important biodiversity hotspots. Despite their high value, they are nowadays among the most threatened aquatic ecosystems and still receive scant attention in political and legislative spheres.
To interrupt this trend and highlight the importance of ponds in central Emilia (Italy), a biodiversity index (IBEM) has been applied to 28 ponds. This will permit to better know the condition of such important biodiversity hotspots in an area where these habitats are still little studied. Results could lead future management actions to preserve, protect and improve the value of these habitats. First results of this study will be presented and discussed.

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23 Feb. 2016 - Federica Mauri, Alessandro Carnelli and Antonella Demarta

20160223 Seminario SUPSI

Aeromonas spp.: model for monitoring the impact of antibiotic compounds in water environments

Presentano: Federica Mauri, Alessandro Carnelli e Antonella Demarta

SUPSI Laboratory of applied microbiology, Bellinzona, Switzerland

Antibiotic resistant bacteria and antibiotic resistance genes are causing increasing problems especially in clinical settings. Nowadays they are considered important environmental contaminants but little is known yet about their fate in the environment or about how they affect the natural microbial populations. In the environment, especially in water, antibiotic determinants may become part of the environmental gene pool, may spread horizontally, and may move back to humans and animals via contaminated food and drinking water.
Bacteria of the genus Aeromonas are ubiquitous in aquatic environments. They can therefore be used as a model of hydric microorganisms exposed to the residual antibiotic compounds and to the aquatic resistome. On the other hand, fecal coliforms, a non taxonomic group that includes genera of bacteria that originate mainly from human and animal feces, represent an allochthonous population of the water environment; they are primarily exposed to antibiotics used and misused in clinical and veterinarian settings.
We at first examined the presence, the distribution and the transferability of the more important resistance determinants. i.e. transposons, integrons, and plasmids, in strains isolated from aquatic environments submitted to diverse levels of antibiotic contamination. In a second time, we investigated the role of Aeromonas spp. in the spread of resistances studying their conjugation, transformation and transduction abilities.

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16 Feb. 2016 - Serena Doni

20160216 Seminario Doni

Biochemical monitoring in the rehabilitation processes of soil and sediment

Presenta: Serena Doni

CNR ISE, sede di Pisa

The measurement of the activity of several enzymes in soil and sediment may be a good method for estimating the overall microbial activity and its response to recovering practices of environmental matrices. Together with biochemical methods, which provide a general measurement of soil dynamics, molecular techniques enable us to identify microbial diversity and to clarify the microbial community structure. In the last few years, many efforts have been devoted to the study of the real executors of the genome at molecular scales: the proteins. Metaproteomics studies the collective proteins from all the microorganisms belonging to a community and provides useful information about the actual functionality in relation to metabolic pathways in soil. The combination of genomic techniques with genomic products represents the new challenge of the molecular techniques applied to soil, because of it will give information about the link between microbial community-structure and soil microbial functions.

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16 Feb. 2016 - Grazia Masciandaro

20160216 Seminario Masciandaro

Scientific and practical implications in the management of degraded environmental matrices: soils and sediments

Presenta: Grazia Masciandaro

CNR ISE, sede di Pisa

The scientific research at laboratory level represents a fundamental step in order to understand the processes involved in the rehabilitation and decontamination of degraded environmental matrices. The knowledge of processes and set up of the techniques at micro- and meso-scale levels, ensures the success of them at real scale. Soil degradation, soil contamination and sediment management, represent some considerable environmental problems recognized at European level.
In the last ten years, these topics have been addressed in both National and International projects. As examples, the BIOREM and CLEANSED projects have the objective of preserving and improving soil quality and recovering contaminated soils and sediments. BIOREM project provides an integrated system aimed at evaluating the rehabilitation of degraded soils by combining the application of exogenous organic matter and the re-vegetation with appropriate shrub and tree species. On the other hand, CLEANSED is an innovative project aimed at reusing decontaminated sediments in the nursery activity. It is also tested for the first time the possibility of reusing dredged sediments in the environmental field, as filling material for road building. The strategies described above for the restoration of degraded environmental matrices are driven by the biological processes which involve the living component of soil, microorganisms and their diversity and functionality.

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9 Feb. 2015 - Claudia Palestrini

20160209 Seminario Palestrini

Scarabeidi coprofagi e servizi ecosistemici
(Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae)

Presenta: Claudia Palestrini

Università di Torino, Italy

Gli Scarabeidi coprofagi sono responsabili di importanti funzioni ecologiche che, in molti casi, si configurano come veri e propri servizi ecosistemici. Negli ecosistemi a pascolo questi coleotteri assicurano primariamente la rimozione e l'interramento dello sterco prodotto da vertebrati e ciò aumenta la fertilità del suolo, che determina a sua volta un incremento della crescita vegetale. I coleotteri coprofagi, utilizzando lo sterco per alimentazione e nidificazione, controllano i parassiti dello sterco , areano il suolo e ne aumentano altresì la permeabilità. Il Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita e Biologia dei Sistemi dell'Università di Torino studia l'ecologia funzionale di questi animali da oltre 10 anni. Si è dimostrato che la conservazione della loro biodiversità assicura il recupero dei pascoli alpini minacciati dall'abbandono, favorisce la dispersione e la germinazione dei semi delle graminacee, modula la dinamica spazio-temporale dei nutrienti (fosfati e nitrati) e, come ultimo aspetto esplorato, controlla la quantità dei gas serra emessi dallo sterco vaccino.

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