The close correlation that exists between expressions of life and types of environment makes the biological material a descriptor of the environment itself. The definition of biological indicator, or bioindicator, primarily refers to the organisms able to indicate, through cause-effect correlations between bioindicator responses and environmental changes, an alteration of the environmental condition, which may be due to a negative human activity. Aim of the module is to make know the animal organisms better suited to be used as bio-indicators and / or bio-accumulators, the methods used for this purpose and the indexes commonly used in thiskind of investigation. The course also offers an in-depth knowledge of a specific animal phylum, the nematodes, for the study of the quality of the environment and of its variations.
The objectives that the module aims include the analysis of biodiversity in relation to environmental characteristics, the characterization of the environment through the responses of plant bio-indicators, the acquisition of techniques aimed at the implementation of environmental biomonitoring interdisciplinary scientific data for a network of monitoring on a larger scale.
Bio-monitoring and bio-valutation and bioaccumulation. Role of micro-, meso- and macrofauna in soil and fresh-water. Main animal taxa used as bioindicators. Biotic indexes. Nematodes as bioindicators. Study of nematodes morphological characters and knowledge of their mostimportant families. Soil maturity index. Trophic groups and guilds. Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN).
The ecological space. The plant-environment relationships . Abiotic and biotic factors . Indication values of Ellenberg and Landolt . Hemerobous Index. Life strategies: CSR categories of Grime . Biological forms and their applications in ecological assessment. The bioindication and its history. Biovalutation and instrumental measurements.. The bioindication and its history. Biovalutation and instrumental measurements. Biomonitoring. Lichens and Bryophytes and their use in pollution monitoring as bioindicators and bio-accumulators. The Index of Atmospheric Purity (IAP), Index of Lichen Biodiversity (LBI) and Index of Bryophyte Biodiversity” (BBI). Bioaccumulation. Limitations, advantages and differences between the bryophyte and lichen bioindicators . The vascular plants as bioindicators: examples of biovalutation using roots, stems and leaves. Chemical and analytical procedures and relative comparison between the different taxonomic groups. Examples of application in forest and urban ecosystems. Processing case study in Sicily.
S. Pignatti, P. M. Bianco, G. Fanelli 2001 -. “Le piante come indicatori ambientali. Manuale tecnico-scientifico”. Manuale ANPA.
F.Sartori 1998 -“Bioindicatori ambientali”- http://www.fratticci.com/varie/bioindicatori.pdf