Black flies (Diptera, Simuliidae) as ecological indicators of stream ecosystem health in an urbanizing area (Rome, Italy)

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Abstract

Introduction. The effectiveness of Simuliidae (Diptera, Nematocera) as indicators of stream health was tested in the urbanizing area of Rome, Central Italy.

Methods. 108 sampling sites were investigated in the spring to acquire data on environmental variables and black fly species.

Results and discussion.The comparison of sampling and literature data highlighted the disappearance of some species (Simulium reptans, S. vernum, S. liriense), possibly due to water pollution and land use changes. Correspondence analysis confirms altitude as the main factor influencing black fly species’ distribution. However, water quality becomes predominant when considering exclusively plain sites: “ornatum” and “equinum” species groups show the greatest tolerance to chemical pollution. The high course of the Aniene river and its tributaries were sampled bimonthly, confirming the spatial-temporal black fly successions previously observed in central Apennines. The results also indicate that S. ornatum may supplant all other species in areas where the rural use is substituted by urban landscape.

Conclusion. In conclusion, black flies can be considered good environmental indicators to assess ecological health of both watercourses and surrounding landscapes.

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Authors

Simone Ciadamidaro - Former Affiliation: ISS - Dipartimento Ambiente e Connessa Prevenzione Primaria Laboratorio di Qualità Ambientale e Ittiocultura Viale Regina Elena, 299 - 00161 Roma Current Affiliation: ENEA - Laboratorio Biodiversità e Servizi Ecosistemici Strada per Crescentino snc, 13040, Saluggia (VC)

Laura Mancini - ISS, Dipartimento Ambiente e Connessa Prevenzione Primaria Laboratorio di Qualità Ambientale e Ittiocultura Viale Regina Elena, 299 - 00161 Roma

Leo Rivosecchi - Former: ISS, Laboratorio di Parassitologia Viale Regina Elena, 299 - 00161 Roma Current: Viale Trieste 211, Roma

How to Cite
Ciadamidaro, S., Mancini, L., & Rivosecchi, L. (2016). Black flies (Diptera, Simuliidae) as ecological indicators of stream ecosystem health in an urbanizing area (Rome, Italy). Annali dell’Istituto Superiore Di Sanità, 52(2), 269-276. Retrieved from https://annali.iss.it/index.php/anna/article/view/317
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