15 Dic. 2015 - Roberto Dellavedova

20151215 Seminario Dellavedova

Aquatic plants in our lakes

Presenta: Roberto Dellavedova

Free-lance botanist, Omegna

Aquatic vascular plants form an ecological rather than a taxonomic group and cannot be defined with any degree of precision; indeed, under some conditions almost any plants may be found in water. On the other hand, aquatic species are important as far as amphibious species (Preston & Croft, 2001). To reduce the scope of this discussion it is useful, as written by Beal (1977), to define aquatic and marsh plants as 'those plants which a typical terrestrial taxonomist does not collect for fear of getting his feet wet!'.
So we will attempt to bring to your knowledge those species that characteristically grow in water that persist throughout the year.
Many questions arise addressing this issue: How many and which aquatic plants can be found in our lakes? Where can we observe them? What are the major constraints of life in water? What kind of information does the environment provide? Were they more frequent in the past or today? Why should we study them? Which of our lakes is home of the highest aquatic plants diversity? We will try to discuss these and other questions.

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09 Dic. 2015 - Marco Pautasso

20151209 Seminario Pautasso

A short introduction to scientometrics

Presenta: Marco Pautasso

Animal & Plant Health Unit, EFSA, Parma, Italy

Scientometricapproaches, i.e. measuring and mapping scientific activities and outputs, are increasingly used to e.g. (i) track the temporal and spatial development of research fields and topics, (ii) assess the productivity and impact of researchers and research institutions, as well as (iii) study patterns in gender balance in academia, interdisciplinarity, and peer review processes. In this brief overview, I present some examples of scientometric approaches, focusing on biodiversity science and research on forest health. Most often, scientometric studies document an increase through time in absolute publication numbers (which is not surprising), but more interesting results can be obtained by studying the temporal variation of publication numbers relative to the overall output in a particular area. For example, it was shown that the proportion of papers mentioning fungi in the marine literature has been increasing over the last two decades, whereas no trend was observed for the proportion of papers mentioning fungi in the freshwater literature. Similar approaches can be used to explore public interest in science (e.g. using altmetrics and Google Trends), as well as media attention to certain scientific topics. A word of caution is needed: not everything that can be measured counts, and not everything that counts can be measured. As with all tools, scientometric indicators can be used poorly (e.g., to evaluate researchers uncritically) or smartly (e.g., to help rebalance scientific attention to a larger suite of potentially emerging threats to tree health under changing environmental conditions, instead of just financing research on a few emerging diseases such as Phytophthoraramorum, ash dieback and Xylellafastidiosa).

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02 Dic. 2015 - Carlo Monti

20151202 Seminario Monti

Valutazione delle sorgenti di PCDD/F e PCB nell'area dell'ILVA di Taranto ed analisi delle concentrazioni riscontrate nei media ambientali

Presenta: Carlo Monti

Exponent International, Basel CH

In risposta alla presunta contaminazione da diossina dell'ambiente circostante al sito ILVA di Taranto, provocata dalle emissioni della stessa ILVA, abbiamo condotto un'analisi per valutare le possibili sorgenti di diossina che avrebbero potuto contribuire alla contaminazione dell'area di studio. E' stata condotta una analisi completa dei dati ambientali riferiti alle "diossine" (policlorodibenzodiossine o PCDD e policlorodibenzofurani o PCDF) e bifenili clorurati diossina-simile (PCB). E' stata effettuata una valutazione dettagliata delle concentrazioni dei suddetti composti nei seguenti media: emissioni dei camini di ILVA ed altre fonti industriali, polvere del precipitatore elettrostatico di ILVA, atmosfera interna all'impianto ILVA (in sito) e dell'area circostante (fuori dal sito), polvere depositata (nel sito e fuori), suolo (nel sito e fuori), vegetazione, campioni di fegato e muscoli ovini e caprini e campioni di latte vaccino e di pecora e capra.
Sono state messe a confronto le concentrazioni di questi composti con i dati di fondo e valutato la distribuzione spaziale delle concentrazioni rispetto a ILVA e ad altre fonti potenziali. Infine abbiamo eseguito un'analisi qualitativa e quantitativa di caratterizzazione chimica (fingerprinting) della composizione in congeneri di questi campioni per determinare se si potessero identificare una o più fonti.

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27 Nov. 2015 - Ester M. Eckert

20151127 Seminario Eckert

From heat maps to phylogenetic trees: one year of Lake Maggiore's microbiome

Presenta: Ester M. Eckert

CNR Istituto per lo Studio degli Ecosistemi, Verbania Pallanza

Prokaryotes are a lake's most divers and dynamics inhabitants. In 100ml of lake water we can find hundreds of species-like entities adding up to over 1000 of bacterial species found over the course of a year in pelagic waters. High throughput sequencing allows to follow the various populations of species in space and time, based solely on their DNA sequences In this presentation Dr Eckert will introduce a dataset of bacterial 16S rDNA sequences of one year of monthly, and one week of daily sampling in Lake Maggiore. The data is composed, on the one hand, by species abundance data and thus allows to investigate the growth and decline of various genotypes and their relation with environmental factors. The sequences, on the other hand, allow to investigate the phylogenetic and, to a certain extent evolutionary, relationship between the various bacterial groups. The presentation will focus on the variety of ecological and eco-evolutionary hypothesis that such a dataset allows to test and give insight into the composition and dynamics of lake bacterial communities.

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20 Nov. 2015 - Claudia Dresti

20151120 Seminario Dresti

Limnological research on Lake Maggiore:
from historical data to the impact of future climate scenarios

Presenta: Claudia Dresti
CNR Istituto per lo Studio degli Ecosistemi, Verbania Pallanza

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), it is important to analyze the effects of climate change on lake ecosystems, as they are early warning indicators of changes in climate conditions; furthermore, their physical and chemical structure may be strongly affected by global warming. Several studies have shown that climate change is expected to induce prolonged periods of stratification, and less frequent overturns: this can affect nutrient and oxygen levels in lake water, with an overall effect on water quality.
The seminar will be focused on Lake Maggiore, one of the biggest and deepest lakes in Italy, with the aim of evaluating the vertical extent of the overturn and assessing its possible relationship with the inter-annual variations of air temperature.
Studies on the physical limnology of Lake Maggiore have been carried out at the Institute of Ecosystem Study since the 1950s and have included temperature profiles since 1953. Historical temperature data have been collected in order to create a common database for the Institute. The seminar will highlight the importance of using these data to analyze the possible response of Lake Maggiore to the air temperature change scenario foreseen by IPCC for the next 30 years, with special attention to the thermal stratification and deep-water dynamics.

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