Biological monitoring of aquatic ecosystems in Italy


In Italy, Ecotoxicology has found a place with the Legislative Decree n. 152 (May 11, 1999), emanated in fulfilment of the Directives 91/271/CEE "urban waste-water treatment" and 91/676/CEE "protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources". This decree in reality goes beyond (actually anticipating the content of the Framework Directive on Water, still under way of elaboration), and charges the Regions with the duty to identify, for all and each water body, the class of quality on the basis of a chemical and biological monitoring and their classification according to the environmental quality objectives. To this aim, for all water bodies (lakes, rivers, groundwater, coastal waters) the ecological, chemical, and environmental status must be assessed by measuring specific parameters. This paper briefly summarises the role of biological monitoring in the classification of waters in five different categories, ranking from High to Foul Environmental status.



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Italian law on water, ecotoxicology, biotic index, toxicity testing, lakes and river classification
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How to Cite
BAUDO R. Biological monitoring of aquatic ecosystems in Italy. J Limnol [Internet]. 2001Sep.1 [cited 2021Jun.13];60(s1):49-2. Available from: