Springs are ecosystems with unique features and great ecological value. In the Mediterranean area they are more exposed to the risks of alteration of their structure and natural functioning because of direct and indirect human pressures and climate change. Despite this, springs remain poorly studied and specific approaches of management and protection are still missing. The main purpose of this PhD was to acquire knowledge on ecology of karst and thermo-mineral springs of Sardinia, traditionally neglected. The research activities focused on diatom microflora from different substrates in 17 springs of the Island. The results indicated a high diatom biodiversity, also highlighted by the presence ofSellaphora gologonica sp. nov.andChamaepinnularia thermophila, the latter observed only in very few sites in the world so far. The analysis of the relationships between species and environmental variables, confirmed that diatoms can reflect the effects of important factors related to the vulnerability of these ecosystems, such as hydrological stability (flow permanence), discharge, climate change (extreme flash floods) and nutrient enrichment. This thesis offer food for thought on the importance of enhancing and preserving these environments so important from an ecological point of view and of so large interests for human uses. The information collected may represent a starting point for the development of strategies aimed at their proper management.

Ecological surveys for the valorization of spring environments of Sardinia: implications for their fruition and environmental protection / Lai, Giuseppina Grazia. - (2019).

Ecological surveys for the valorization of spring environments of Sardinia: implications for their fruition and environmental protection.

LAI, Giuseppina Grazia
2019

Abstract

Springs are ecosystems with unique features and great ecological value. In the Mediterranean area they are more exposed to the risks of alteration of their structure and natural functioning because of direct and indirect human pressures and climate change. Despite this, springs remain poorly studied and specific approaches of management and protection are still missing. The main purpose of this PhD was to acquire knowledge on ecology of karst and thermo-mineral springs of Sardinia, traditionally neglected. The research activities focused on diatom microflora from different substrates in 17 springs of the Island. The results indicated a high diatom biodiversity, also highlighted by the presence ofSellaphora gologonica sp. nov.andChamaepinnularia thermophila, the latter observed only in very few sites in the world so far. The analysis of the relationships between species and environmental variables, confirmed that diatoms can reflect the effects of important factors related to the vulnerability of these ecosystems, such as hydrological stability (flow permanence), discharge, climate change (extreme flash floods) and nutrient enrichment. This thesis offer food for thought on the importance of enhancing and preserving these environments so important from an ecological point of view and of so large interests for human uses. The information collected may represent a starting point for the development of strategies aimed at their proper management.
Mediterranean springs; karst springs; thermo-mineral springs; diatoms; ecology
Ecological surveys for the valorization of spring environments of Sardinia: implications for their fruition and environmental protection / Lai, Giuseppina Grazia. - (2019).
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11388/250128
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