Loyola University Chicago

John Felice Rome Center

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Climate Change and Biodiversity: Lago Trasimeno

Climate Change and Biodiversity: Lago Trasimeno

The importance of biodiversity is globally recognized for its key role in maintaining the ecosystems services (including clean water and air, food, fuel, and disease and climate regulation) which are essential for our persistence in health and in balance with the planet.

Climate change, unsustainable use of natural resources, pollution, introduction of alien species are the main factors that lead to a reduction of more than a third of the flora and fauna on Earth.

The wetlands are one of the most vulnerable ecosystems with the highest rate of disappearance in recent decades. The attention to the wetland conservation and management has grown for their importance as biodiversity resources and for their central role for the functions of aquatic ecosystems.

In this context, the Agency for Environmental Protection ARPA-Umbria has developed in the Polvese Island of the Trasimeno Lake the Centre on Climate Change and Biodiversity focusing on biodiversity studies in lakes and wetlands, in cooperation with other local partners and stakeholders.

As part of the scheduled activities of the Centre "Climate Change and Biodiversity in Lakes and Wetlands" Professor Susanna Greco’s students (course UCSF137) of the Loyola University Chicago–John Felice Rome Center attended a two-day meeting with teachers and technical experts of Arpa Umbria at Polvese Island. 

In the meeting, experts from ARPA Umbria illustrated the environmental condition of the Trasimeno Lake, the activities and programmes that ARPA is currently developing as studies on wetlands, and bioindicators (i.e. diatom algae).

During this JFRC sponsored study trip, students had the opportunity to performing field activities such as sampling bioindicators on the lake according to the national method for evaluation of the ecological quality of Italian lakes, laboratory activities through the observation of their biodiversity with the microscope and data analysis.

This study trip, which took place 7-9 April, 2017, offered participants an opportunity to meet with ARPA experts on the subject, to acquire competence, share experiences, and establish lasting contacts between students and technicians.