Integrated European
Long-Term Ecosystem, critical zone and
socio-ecological Research

LTER-Eastern Ligurian Sea Site (Italy): Мonitoring coralline alga Ellisolandia elongata and sustainable tourism

20 July 2022

From 30 May to 1 June, the Biological and Environmental Sciences students of the University of Pavia contributed to the data collection on coralline alga Ellisolandia elongata in Palmaria Island (Regional Park of Porto Venere, LTER Eastern Ligurian Sea Site).

After a two years pandemic pause, the students had the opportunity to discover Palmaria Island, its marine and terrestrial ecosystems and the geology, under the guidance of ENEA researchers. In particular, the students contributed to the annual monitoring (i.e. distribution and abundance) of the bioconstructional intertidal species of coralline algae Ellisolandia elongata, in two sites of Palmaria island, one of the marine species of LTER program since 2013.

Other than studying marine ecosystems, ENEA has permanent underwater observatories in the Gulf for physico-chemical parameters monitoring. The shallow stations (1 m of depth) revealed, at species distributional range (0-1 m), an exceptional increase of 8°C recorded during the last two weeks of May.

During the trekking on the island for reaching the monitoring sites, the blogger Davide Fiz joined the students. He is the creator of “Smart Walking”project, aiming to discover and valorize the natural and historical beauties of Italy through slow walking.

Davide described the experience as an example of sustainable tourism and citizen science aiming to valorize and protect a poorly known Island (UNESCO heritage) and to promote it among slow and sustainable destinations.