Assessment of the Quality of Waters and the Environment by Means of Biological Indices (Macroinvertebrates, Diatoms, Fluvial Functionality): The River Frigido

  • Nicola Ceccopieri
  • Rosalba Banchetti


During spring-summer 2000, a monitoring campaign with Extended Biotic Index (IBE) and two with Diatomic Eutrophication-Pollution Index (EPI-D) were carried out on nine stations of the Frigido river. In autumn 2000, the survey of Index of Fluvial Functionality (IFF), published recently in 2000, was carried out along the whole flow of the river. The results of IBE show a biological fragility, connected with the oligotrophy of the waters, in the spring area, a good quality in the tributaries, a slight deterioration (I-II and II Class of Quality, C.Q.) in the middle reach of the river and a sensible worse situation (III and IV C.Q.) in the flat reach. The comparison with the campaigns carried out between 1980–2000 shows that the reclamation of the chemical-hygienical quality of the waters (got principally by the interruption of the waste waters coming from marble sawing) is a necessary but not sufficient condition to recover the biological quality and the colonies of macro-invertebrates. As the negative effects of the waste waters continued (even years after their interruption) in 1997 the bed of the Frigido was reclaimed, removing about ten thousand tons of marble dust. The IBE campaign in 2000 put in evidence a remarkable reclamation of the biological quality, so confirming also the peculiar ways of environmental impact of sawing waste waters and marble dust, explained not only by the deterioration of waters but also by the destruction of the varieties of micro-habitats in the substratum of the river. The index EPI-D seems to point out a lower sensitivity of IBE to the intermediate levels of pollution and a quite superior sensitivity as regards the two extreme situations, of extremely clear or polluted waters. The index IFF points out a marked critical state in the area in Massa and in the flat reach, connected principally with the compromise of the strips of vegetation on the banks, due to the works to put the same banks in a steady state. From the elements of the environmental diagnosis drawn from the survey, suggestions for environmental reclamation and restoration have been developed.


Riparian Vegetation Biological Quality Organic Detritus Monitoring Campaign Slight Deterioration 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicola Ceccopieri
    • 1
  • Rosalba Banchetti
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di etologiaecologia ed evoluzionePisaItaly

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