Distribution and ecology of Didymosphenia geminata (Lyngbye) M. Schmidt (Bacillariophyta) in Trentino watercourses (Northern Italy)

Maria Elena BELTRAMI, Saul BLANCO, Francesca CIUTTI, Cristina CAPPELLETTI, Catia MONAUNI, Sabrina POZZI, Frédéric RIMET & Luc ECTOR

en Cryptogamie, Algologie 29 (2) - Pages 141-160

Published on 30 May 2008

In 2000 the European Parliament and The European Union Council recommended that member countries assess water quality using diatoms, as part of the phytobenthos. In Italy this recommendation has given new impetus to the study of diatom communities and the application of biotic indices. During the summer of 2004, a total of 11 rivers of the Trentino province (Northern Italy) were sampled, revealing the presence in low abundances of the diatom Didymosphenia geminata (Lyngbye) M. Schmidt. The sites where this diatom occurred were characterised by a low pollution impact; they were also lake fed or had a regulated flow regime, although with different geologies. Morphological features of D. geminata frustules were analysed using LM and SEM and specimens could be referred to the morphotype "geminata". In many countries this species is expanding its distribution and in New Zealand it is considered an invasive alga. This work provides an initial report on the presence of D. geminata in the Trento province, and contributes to increasing the knowledge on its distribution in Italy and its ecology in the Alps.

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