Focus

Fauna e flora dei mangrovieti: biologia riproduttiva e meccanismi di dispersione.

2004
1 - Studio della struttura genetica dell'isopode marino Sphaeroma terebrans, perforatore del legno di mangrovia e confronto con quella di altre specie di Crostacei con diverse strategie riproduttive. 2 - Analisi dei ritmi riproduttivi e delle strategie di dispersione in Sphaeroma terebrans. L'analisi svolta fino a questo momento ha permesso di ottenere alti livelli di strutturazione genetica nell'isopode S. terebrans e valori significativi di differenziazione genetica tra le popolazioni, anche a ...

Oil eating marine bacteria, new perspectives for bioremediation

2004
However, there are many sources of oil pollution in the ocean other than tanker and oil rig accidents. Human activity on the land and natural seeps as well as municipal and industrial waste discharge. Progress in bioremediation have allowed the discovery of a fascinating new group of marine bacteria, namely the hydrocarbonoclastic bacteria (HCB), that play a critical role in the natural cleansing of marine systems and obviously have a biotechnological potential. The HCB are marine obligate ...

Mercury Pollution

2003
Recent news of mercury contamination in the Priolo-Agusta-Melilli industrial zone (Sicily) brought to public attention the seriousness of mercury pollution on human health and ecosystems. Mercury pollution is a long standing environmental problem, going back to the 19th century, starting with mercury used in gold extraction in North America; this practice is still widely used in Laos, Vietnam, Tanzania and Venezuela today. Mercury is much used in the manufacturing industry (eg., chlor-alkali ...

The flux of cosmic material as revealed by the analysis if an ice core from Greenland

2003
Polar ice caps conserve within them exceptional archives that can be worked upon to reveal important climatic and environmental information. The layers of snow that accumulate year after year contain diverse substances that are transported by the wind in the form of fine particles to remote areas. These are then incorporated into the snow mantle during precipitation and via post-depositional processes overtime. The dust encapsulated in the snow can be of anthropogenic origin, from manmade ...

Carbon dioxide enhanced fixation in macroalgae for biofuel production

2003
The control aof the carbon dioxide atmospheric loading, the target of the Kyoto Protocol, is not yet implemented for the resistence to introdure cuts in the use of fossil fuels. The capture of carbon dioxide and its storage in natural sites or its utilization may bring in a new perspective in the use of fossil fuels. Marine biomass represents a form of renewable energy more effective than the terrestyrial for the higher photosynthetic activity of algae with respect to superior plants. To date ...

Ecological, sanitary and economic impact of HAB problematics

2003
HABs (Harmful Algal Blooms) are outbreaks of microalgae toxic to humans, as well as microalgae having a negative impact on the ecosystem through production of ichthyotoxins or causing conditions noxious to the habitat, such as hypoxia to anoxia. Two groups of organisms can be distincted among HAB species: 1) toxin producers, that may contaminate seafood and cause problems to the public health or fish kills and 2) organisms responsible for events known as red tides or discoloured waters, with ...

Stress evaluation in ornamental stone quarries

2003
Marble exploitation in the Apuane Alps gives rise to rock wall faces and underground voids of uncommon size and shape. The trend towards gigantism in quarry operations (the height of the faces increases up to 150m, the length of underground voids to 80-120m, their height to 30-50m and their span to 20-40m) is sustained by the higher outputs required and favored by the growing mechanization of the stopes. It is known however that ornamental stones exploitation, both surface and underground, is ...

Advanced treatments for drinking water

2003
In Italy most of the drinking water comes from groundwater that, according to update surveys, are often polluted by organic chemicals such as chlorinated solvents and pesticides. These pollutants reach groundwater because of rainfalls, over irrigation and/or unauthorized disposals. The removal of such toxic and persistent pollutants at potabilization plants is achieved by specific treatments such as adsorption onto activated carbon or membrane filtration. However, these treatments are ...

Uses of dechlorinating bacteria for bioremediation of ground water contaminated by organohalogenated compounds

2003
Object of the study The contamination of aquifers by chlorinated solvents, caused by their widespread use in industrial processes and their improper handling and disposal, is today a major problem. The pollution of water resources by organo-halogenated compounds, started during 50s and continued for several decades, and is common to all the industrialised countries, including Italy. For the Italian legislation the decontamination of the polluted site by the responsible of the pollution or, if ...

The large landslides occurred in December 2002 on the Sciara del Fuoco (Stromboli)

2003
On December 30th 2002 the inhabited coastal areas of Stromboli Island were hit by a series of tsunami waves up to 10 metre high. Tsunami waves were the effect of at least two destructive landslides which involved the submarine and subaerial Sciara del Fuoco slope, respectively. Sciara del Fuoco is the NW flank of the Stromboli volcano, where the products of the volcanic activity accumulate. At present the NW flank looks like a regular slope above and below the sea level. Actually it is the ...

Impact of transgenic maize crops expressing Bacillus thuringiensis toxins on phytophagous and beneficial insects

2003
Every year million hectares of genetically modified (GM) crops, including varieties of soya, maize, tomatoes, potatoes, cotton, tobacco and oilseed rape, are planted for commercial purposes worldwide. It is important that any potential negative side effects of GM plants are studied in detail and research in this area has clearly expanded and advanced during recent years. The research group of the Unit of Applied Ecology and Biological Control of ISE-CNR studied the effect of transgenic maize ...

Identifying Ecoregions for Rodent Conservation

2003
In the framework of the research group on biodiversity conservation of the CNR-ISE priority ecoregions for rodent conservation have been identified. Current emphasis on biodiversity mapping and identification of conservation priorities which are not species-specific, highlight the importance of rodents as a biodiversity indicator group. In fact Rodents occur naturally on all continent (with the exception of Antarctica) and in almost all habitat, with more than 2000 recognised species ...

The geophysical exploration in the metropolitan areas: the Bosco in Città (Milan) experiment.

2003
The parks of the metropolitan areas constitute a "window" through which it is possible to explore the subsoil. An intersesting characteristic of the metropolitan parks is that they have experienced a generally low anthropic interaction in the historical times. Therefore the subsoil below their surface preserves the geological and environmental features which are the consequence of the processes occurred in that areas along the time. The geologic-physical characterization of the subsoil of the ...

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2003
La comprensione dei processi geodinamici e l'analisi dei fattori che ne influenzano l'evoluzione rappresenta un traguardo fondamentale nell'ambito delle Scienze della Terra. Tra i vari processi, l'estensione continentale e la formazione delle rift valleys riveste un ruolo di notevole importanza in quanto precede la formazione dei bacini oceanici. L'importanza delle aree di estensione crostale è inoltre legata alla presenza di giacimenti minerari e idrocarburi ed all'elevato impatto sociale ...

Trend in daily precipitation intensity and in the frequency of extreme precipitation events in Italy in the last 120 years. By Brunetti M., Maugeri M., Nanni T.

2003
In the recent years a tremendous increase in economic, environmental and human losses caused by weather hazards, especially floods and droughts, has raised the alarm over the possibility that the recent increases in extraordinary atmospheric events were are due to a changing climate. The analyses till now performed on daily series show a positive trend in the mean amount per wet day (i.e. precipitation intensity) for some areas and a tendency toward higher frequencies of heavy and extreme ...

CARAMEL are our monuments getting blacker? by Cristina Sabbioni

2003
It is known that changes are taking place in the composition of the atmosphere and in the resulting impact of multipollutants on the environment and land. Cultural heritage is particularly vulnerable to such changes. The results of the EC-financed CARAMEL project, wound up in 2003, showed that carbonaceous particulate has now become the main damage factor on the architectural and archaeological heritage. Measurements performed in a number of European cities (Milan, Rome, Paris, London and ...

The role of isoprenoids in protecting plants against oxidative stresses and in the phyto-remediation of gaseous pollutants

2003
Many plants form and emit in the atmosphere foliar volatile organic compounds belonging to the isoprenoid family. It is now known that the isoprenoids emitted by the vegetation are directly formed from photosynthetic carbon through a specific, and entirely chloroplastic, metabolic pathway. But it is still unclear why plants invest on average 2 to 10% of the photosynthetic Carbon for forming these compounds apparently useless in the metabolism and therefore re-emitted in the atmosphere. At the ...

High Enegy diffuse X-Ray emission from the Galactic Bulge

2003
Our Galaxy is a bright source of gamma-rays that has been observed over many decades of energy. The interstellar medium is probably responsible for most of the Galactic emission below 10 keV, and above 300 keV. However, in the soft gamma-ray domain (>20 keV)the nature of the Galactic emission was still uncertain and a matter of debate. The lack of sensitive, high resolution observations did not allow for the relative contribution of compact sources and the interstellar medium to be ...

XMM-NEWTON AND ISOLATED NEUTRON STARS

2003
Neutron stars do not shine like "normal" stars do: isolated neutron stars are visible only because 1) they are born very hot in the SN event which generates them or 2) they slowly lose their rotational energy through radiation processes connected with the superstrong magnetic field co-rotating with the star. Both such thermal and non-thermal processes contribute to neutron star luminosities in X-rays, especially in the .1-to-10 kev energy region. It is precisely for this two-decade range that ...

BVOC (Biogenic volatile organic compound) emission responses to climate change

2003
All plants emit a wide range of volatile compounds such as nitric oxide, carbon monoxide, and non-methane volatile organic compounds, the so-called biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOC). BVOC emissions have received increased scientific attention in the last two decades because BVOCs are highly reactive and, thus, may profoundly influence the chemical and physical properties of the atmosphere. The global carbon emitted as BVOCs is about 1.1 Pg per year, and is believed to be of the same ...

Twenty million years under the sea: a slice of history of ocean floor formation

2003
The oceanic lithosphere covers 2/3 of our Planet: understanding how it forms and evolves is a major challenge in the Earth sciences. New crust is continuously being created by partial melting of the upwelling mantle; and the melt rises towards the ocean floor, cools, solidifies and is then 'rafted' away to either side of the ridge by seafloor spreading. Mid-ocean ridge (MOR) topography, structure and composition indicate that near zero age processes of lithosphere formation vary along ridge ...

Wind and wave atlas for the Mediterranean Sea

2003
Traditionally the marine atlases were based on the visual reports taken from ships. On top of the unavoidable errors, these data carry with them a basic flaw, because of the care with which the captains try to avoid as far as possible the stormy areas. Besides these data are concentrated only on the main shipping lanes. More recently, during the last 10-20 years, three new sources of data have become available: buoys, satellites and numerical models. However, notwithstanding the enormous ...

The beginning of SRT construction

2003
Sardinia Radio Telescope (SRT) is the main project of the Istituto di Radioastronomia (IRA), aimed to build one of the world largest single dish radio telescopes. The instrument, a 64m dish of modern design, is intended to operate with multi focal postions in order to cover almost the full frequency spectrum between 300 MHz and 100 GHz. The site is about 30 km from Cagliari, main city in Sardinia Island. SRT will joint the Medicina (Bologna) and Noto (Siracusa) IRA radio telescopes to complete ...

Optical emission from hot-spots in radio galaxies

2002
Researchers of the Institute of Radioastronomy are working in collaboration with collegues at the European Southern Observatory and at MPIA-Heidelberg to observe and interpret optical emission from hot spots in radio galaxies. Part of this work has recently published in Science (Prieto, Brunetti, Mack, 2002, 298, p. 193) and received attention in several magazines and newspapers. Hot spots (HSs) are regions of enhanced radio emission located at the end of the radio lobes of powerful ...

NPAH and the environment

2002
Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons (NPAH) and environment. Nitrated polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (NPAH) have been recognised as belonging to long-term toxic compounds and, on the other hand, were identified in several anthropogenic emissions and among by-products of photochemical smog: Therefore, in seventies and eighties they began subject of investigation in ambient air and emission products, although any regulation limited they release in the environment. Our institute, IIA-CNR, ...

The nitrogen Cycle and Effects on the oxidation of atmospheric trace species at high latitudes (NICE)

2002
NICE Measurements of atmospheric and snow nitrates and nitrites and their fluxes above the snow surface were made during two campaigns during spring 2001 at Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard as part of the EU project "The NItrogen Cycle and Effects on the oxidation of atmospheric trace species at high latitudes" (NICE). Recent findings of NOx and HONO production in snow interstitial air showed that photochemical production of NOx in snow surfaces is sufficient to alter the composition of the ...

Anthropogenic emissions, clouds and climate

2002
Anthropogenic emissions, clouds and climate Clouds are the most important factor controlling the albedo (reflectivity) and hence the temperature of our planet. In fact, the surface of the Earth is covered by clouds 60% of the time on average, and clouds reflect the incoming solar radiation and cause cooling at the surface. Man-made aerosols have a strong influence on cloud optical properties, thus strongly affecting the albedo of the Earth. This climatic effect, called the "indirect aerosol ...

On how a turbulent system replicates itself at smaller scales

2002
On how a turbulent system replicates itself at smaller scales. Marta Antonelli 1, Andrea Mazzino 2, Umberto Rizza 2(1) Univ. di Genova, D.to di Fis., (2) CNR-ISAC, Sez. di Lecce One of the most intriguing features characterizing a turbulent system is the emergence of huge fluctuations covering a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. Although the equations ruling the dynamics of such fluctuations are fully deterministic, the probabilistic description turns out to be the most appropriate ...

HYDRAULIC RISK MITIGATION WITH NON STRUCTURAL MEASURES

2002
In the last few years catastrophic rainfall events have occurred in the Mediterranean area, leading to floods, flash floods and shallow landsliding. These recent events have outlined the urgent need for: · the implementation of forecasting systems able to predict meteorological conditions leading to disastrous runoff occurrences; · some policies for issuing warnings, or alarms, to local authorities and the population. Indeed, early warning systems in urban areas appear to be the only non ...

.Monitoring landslides

2002
When monitoring landsldies (Fig.1) it is of utmost importance obtaining set of data that are: i - continuous; ii - reliable; iii - obtained contemporaneously by means of different techniques and from different sources, in oredr to obtai a model that is as consistent as possible with resect to the real phenomenon to model. Using innovative and technologically advanced instrumentation, allows the continuous monitoring and the gathering of the different parameters that characterize slope movements, ...