Macroinvertebrates monitoring and assessment

How can we assess the effects of eradication on the ecosystem? How can we determine whether nature is able to return to its original conditions and resume good health? One of the methods available consists of identifying and monitoring the community of macroinvertebrates populating a lake. Each fresh water ecosystem, in fact, is populated by a large variety of organisms that are more or less sensitive to changes in their habitat, each species having adapted to certain physical conditions (temperature, turbulence of the water, etc,), chemical conditions (dissolved oxygen, concentration of nutrients, etc.) and environmental aspects (current velocity, substrate, place in the food web). An undamaged ecosystem can host a number of species that depends on its intrinsic environmental diversity, whereas the impact of human activities often brings about variations in the abundance and composition of a community, which therefore will be impoverished to a greater or lesser degree in terms of species richness depending on the severity of the impact. In the picture above a per lodes of the Nero lake, Valsavarenche

The LIFE+BIOAQUAE actions for the support of the marble trout

The presence of fish in high altitude lakes in the Italian Alpine chain has almost invariably been brought about by the intervention of man, who, over the centuries, has disseminated trout and other salmonid species in just about every environment that could sustain them, initially with the aim to “cultivate” living resources in the waters and provide the local population with a valuable, protein-rich food source, and, more recently with a view to populating the waters for recreational fishing purposes.

Besides providing indubitable benefits to the mountain areas, in terms of valuable protein sources, leisure activities and tourist attractions, this undiscriminating colonisation process, albeit conducted in perfectly good faith, has had a number of detrimental effects, whose importance was only realized in recent years. In particular, it has endangered the survival of a number of species endemic to high-altitude waters, and hence has introduced a threat to the preservation of the local biodiversity, which the LIFE+BIOAQUAE project - undertaken by the Gran Paradiso National Park with the support of European funds - intends to counter with targeted actions.

Besides the brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) eradication program, which is currently being implemented in a number of high-altitude lakes, precisely with the aim to protect the life of other species that live in the same habitat and are massively preyed upon by this trout, the project includes actions in favour of the marble trout (Salmo marmoratus), a salmonid which is endemic to the Po River basin and is listed in Annex II to the Habitat Directive. Whether this species is native to the waters of the Park is not known for certain, but is highly probable, not only because some tracts not far from the confines of the Park still host stable and well structured marble trout populations, but also because some specimens have been found in the inner waters of the Park. The marble trout may be a species that has always lived in these habitats, or one introduced for repopulation purposes, since valley floor hatcheries have been breeding for many years marble trout juveniles originating from the artificial reproduction of fish caught in nearby rivers.

Course on LIFE+BIOAQUAE projects for naturalistic guide

On April 28 there will be an education course focused on motivations and modality of the LIFE+BIOAQUAE project, oriented towards the numerous naturalistic guides working within the Gran Paradiso National Park.

Lectures will be:Dr. Beniamino Barenghi (BluProgetti), Dr. Andrea Casoni (Graie) and Dr. Rocco Tiberti (LIFE+BIOAQUAE).

In Spain to present the LIFE+BIOAQUAE project

At the beginning of April there will be a conference about the LIFE+BIOAQUAE project in the scientific faculty of the University of Granada, in the South of Spain, mainly focused on the eradication of the brook trout from the alpine lakes of the Gran Paradiso National Park. To make known the different actions and the main issues of the project is one of the objectives of the LIFE+BIOAQUAE.

The lecturer will be Rocco Tiberti, one of the collaborator of the project

Here the flier



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