Valeria Lencioni

Valeria Lencioni
Museo delle Scienze, Trento, Italy | MTSN · Research and Collection Office

Researcher

About

205
Publications
77,786
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Introduction
I coordinate the Climate & Ecology Unit of the Research & Collection Office of the MUSE-Science Museum of Trento, Italy. My research activity is in the field of Zoology, Stream Ecology, Stress Ecology. Most of my works refer to high altitude freshwaters and aquatic insects. Current research interest is in the evaluation of effects of climate change and pollution by emerginging contaminants on aquatic habitat and invertebrates in glacialized areas of the world, from genes to ecosystems.

Publications

Publications (205)
Presentation
Full-text available
Organophosphate pesticides (OPPs) have gained worldwide concern by their persistent and hazard to the environment, surrounding nearly 40% of the global market and in constant increase reaching easily to aquatic systems acting as main OPPs reservoir. Chlorpyrifos (CPF) insecticide has been the most employed for crops protection in Italy derived in i...
Article
We evaluated the effect of global warming on invertebrate communities at high altitudes using data from the Careser system. We procured data on air temperature, which was obtained over 50 years at altitudes above 2600 m a.s.l., and data on water temperature, which was available for approximately 30 years. We sampled thrice in the past 20 years (200...
Article
Cell-membrane fluidity is a fundamental parameter in cold resistance. It is regulated by a fine tuning of lipid composition, usually involving a great chemical diversity among head-groups, chain lengths, and degree of unsaturation. To give new insights on Alpine chironomid cold adaptation, we analysed the lipid membrane composition of Diamesa tonsa...
Article
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It is known that pesticides and other organic pollutants are transported from lowlands and alpine valleys to high alpine summits, where they are stored in glaciers until melting occurs between July and September. In this study, we aimed to map glacial contamination by measuring the concentrations of currently used pesticides, synthetic fragrances,...
Article
Full-text available
How do macroinvertebrate communities respond to declining glacial influence in the Southern Alps? In the summer of 2018, we compared the macroinvertebrate communities of four streams fed by retreating glaciers and of one pro-glacial pond in the Italian Alps. The general aim was to determine if habitats fed by glaciers with different surface areas h...
Article
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Some pollutants can be transported through the atmosphere and travel medium-long distances to be deposited in glaciers at high altitude and latitude. The increase in the rate of glacier melting due to global warming can release these pollutants in alpine streams. This study investigated the combined effects of rising temperatures and chlorpyrifos (...
Article
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We conducted a survey on the Alpine fauna of one of the largest Natural Park of the Italian Alps (Stelvio National Park) in the framework of a broad ecological monitoring of Alpine biodiversity. A two-years standardized sampling employing pitfall traps along a 1200 m altitudinal gradient led to the discovery of the inquiline social parasite ants My...
Article
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Chironomids (Diptera, Chironomidae) represent the most abundant family of insects in freshwaters, both in terms of number of individuals and specific diversity. In the present paper, a first updated checklist of species based on material collected in the Adige River stretch (crossing the city of Verona) and four adjacent springs (located in the mun...
Article
Full-text available
Are the effluents of wastewater treatment plants in high mountains of concern for aquatic biodiversity? To answer this question, we carried out an experimental study testing the short-term toxicity of some Pharmaceutical Active Compounds (PhACs) in the effluents of a plant in a mountain valley of the Italian Alps sampled during the high tourist sea...
Article
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High-altitude spiders (Arachnida: Araneae) of the Brenta Dolomites. This study aims to improve our knowledge on the spider fauna (Arachnida: Araneae) living in high-altitude habitats of the Brenta Dolomites (Adamello Brenta Natural Park, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy). Spider specimens were sampled using pitfall traps placed along an altitudinal gradi...
Article
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A male adult Synorthocladius was collected in the middle basin of the Adige River in the city of Verona, northern Italy. A combination of atypical characters for the genus signalled a new species. S. federicoi sp. nov. is here diagnosed and described. The new species is known only from its type-locality and is presumed to be a local biogeographical...
Article
Pesticides used in agriculture can be transported at a medium-high distance due to the drift effect, reaching even remote areas as mountain regions, glaciers, and snow cover. With the melting process, pesticides enter freshwater glacier ecosystems, becoming a threat to wildlife fauna, mainly dominated by Diptera Chironomidae. Chlorpyrifos (CPF), as...
Article
• Understanding how insects may respond and adapt to global warming is a major challenge when predicting future biodiversity trends in glacial regions at high altitudes and latitudes of our planet. Hydrobiologists, ecologists, ecotoxicologists, molecular biologists, physiologists, and taxonomists are working together to understand the current chang...
Research
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A short tale by a hydrobiologist carrying out her research in a science museum
Article
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The cryosphere (i.e. glaciers and permafrost) and its related landforms offer a wide range of ecosystem services, thus they have strong relationships with human population. Even if these harsh environments have often been regarded as inhospitable, there is a growing amount of literature on glacial biodiversity, specifically concerning European moun...
Article
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The high altitude mountain slopes of the Dolomites (Italian Alps) are characterized by great habitat and landform heterogeneities. In this paper, we investigated the effect of Nature 2000 habitat and landform types in driving the high altitude ground beetle (Carabidae) distribution in the Western Dolomites (Brenta group, Italy). We studied the cara...
Article
In mountain regions, climate change is resulting in glacial retreat, causing biodiversity loss in glacial‐fed streams (kryal habitat). Diamesa species (Diptera Chironomidae), the main colonizers of the kryal in the Alps, are the aquatic insects more threatened by extinction. In recent years, DNA barcoding was successfully adopted to delimit species...
Article
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DNA barcoding based on a fragment of mitochondrial Cytochrome C Oxidase subunit 1 gene (COI) was applied to the two chironomids Clunio balticus Heimbach (690 base pairs) and C. ponticus Michailova (691 base pairs). The two species differed by one deletion in the nucleotide sequence Adenine. However, the 658-nucleotide long sequences of DNA from the...
Article
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Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based genotyping of mutations in the voltage-sensitive sodium channel (vssc) associated with resistance to pyrethroid insecticides is widely used and represents a potential early warning and monitoring system for insecticide resistance arising in mosquito populations, which are vectors of different human pathogens. I...
Preprint
The status of glaciers is alarming globally with still unknown effects on freshwater ecosystems. The general aim of this study was to investigate the structural and functional changes in the macroinvertebrate community in stream networks fed by shrinking glaciers in relation to environmental variables. Feeding glaciers had different surface areas a...
Article
Full-text available
This study aimed to assess how different concentrations of the insecticide chlorpyrifos (1.1, 5.24, 11, 52.4, 110, 262, 524 and 1100 ng L⁻¹) affect the swimming behaviour of Diamesa zernyi larvae following exposure. A video tracking system was employed to analyse two swimming traits (total distance moved and average speed) of the larvae simultaneou...
Article
The aim of this study was to highlight the effects of water treatment plant (WTP) effluents on the macro-invertebrates of the Noce River (Italian Alps), from its headwaters (at TP_Up at 1792 m a.s.l. and TP_Dw at 1790 m a.s.l., which were 70 m upstream and 50 m downstream of the Tonal Pass WTP, respectively) to lowland reaches (at ML at 221 m a.s.l...
Chapter
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At first glance, the ground surrounding the glacier front and the streams originated by melting glaciers seem to be too extreme to host life forms. They are instead ecosystems, colonized by bacteria, fungi, algae, mosses, plants and animals (called the "glacial biodiversity"). The best adapted animals to colonize glacier surface, the recently degla...
Poster
Full-text available
Glaciers are shrinking due to global warming, resulting in a diminishing contribution of ice- and snowmelt to headwaters with consequences on freshwater ecosystems. The stable isotopic compositions in natural waters (δ18O and δ2H) respond to environmental variation very sensitively and can indicate the change of geographic environment or mark the r...
Article
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Cold stenothermal insects living in glacier-fed streams are stressed by temperature variations resulting from glacial retreat during global warming. The molecular aspects of insect response to environmental stresses remain largely unexplored. The aim of this study was to expand our knowledge of how a cold stenothermal organism controls gene express...
Article
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Glaciers are shrinking due to global warming, resulting in a diminishing contribution of ice and snowmelt to headwaters and subsequent consequences to freshwater ecosystems. Within this context, we tested whether water-stable isotopes are spatio-temporal tracers of (i) water in high altitude periglacial environments, being the isotopic signature of...
Article
Full-text available
Spitale D., Lencioni V., Cantonati M., 2019-Indagine conoscitiva sulla qualità ambientale del Lago del Sorapìs. Studi Trentini di Scienze Naturali, 98: 97-104. Summary. Lake Sorapìs is located in the Ampezzane Dolomites at an elevation of 1923 m a.s.l., in a glaciokarst basin. The lake is renowned for its blue-turquoise colour which attracts thous...
Poster
The ice fly Diamesa steinboecki Goetghebuer, 1933 is a cold stenothermal non-biting midge colonizing only glacier-fed streams in the East Palaearctic region. It completes the life cycle at water temperature <4 °C. Long-term series of ecological data highlighted that glacier retreating under climate change is affecting its distribution in the Alps,...
Poster
Freshwater organisms at high altitudes are exposed to a double threat, climate change and associated glacier retreating, and exposure to chemical pollution transported to the glaciers by the atmosphere. Organophosphorus pesticides, among which the insecticide chlorpyrifos (CPF), are extensively used in agriculture in the last twenty years, even in...
Article
This study aimed to characterise the composition, structure and trophic organisation of the macroinvertebrate communities of two pasture ponds – one natural and one artificial – in the Italian Prealps. Faunal composition was studied during the snow-free period in 2003–2004 and compared with data collected in 1984–1985. Insects (i.e., Coleoptera, Di...
Article
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Historical collections of natural science museums play a fundamental role in documenting environmental changes and patterns of biodiversity transformation. This considered, they should have a pivotal role to plan conservation and management actions. The MUSE - Science Museum of Trento is an Italian regional museum preserving about 5.5 million items...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this research was to study the macroinvertebrate community structure of the Presena stream, a glacier-fed stream fed by the homonymous glacier. The Presena glacier is retreating very fast and exploited as a ski resort. The study was carried out in summer 2015, from June to Sep-tember, in four study sites between 2685 m a.s.l. (at the gla...
Article
Il Torrente Noce è in uno stato ecologico buono-elevato: questo è quanto emerge dal monitoraggio della qualità del torrente applicando gli indici di valutazione richiesti per legge. Ma nelle acque del torrente, da Passo Tonale a Mezzolombardo, i "contaminanti emergenti" ci sono, anche se in tracce, ovvero in concentrazioni molto basse, dell'ordine...
Article
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Recently, the use of Daphnia magna has been proposed in real-time biomonitoring programmes as an early warning system for evaluating the effluent quality of sewage treatment plants (STPs). These systems are based on recording behavioural changes in the test organism resulting from the stress caused by the effluents. Indeed, altered behavioural sign...
Article
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This special issue provides an overview of recent advances in the study of chironomids (Diptera chironomidae), as an outcome of the 20th International Symposium on Chironomidae held in Trento (Italy), in July 2017. it includes 27 selected papers, representative of the six topics of the symposium: genetics and cytogenetics, taxonomy and systematics,...
Article
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Acute toxicity and genotoxic activity of 11 pollutants were investigated in wild populations of Diamesa cinerella and Diamesa zernyi (Diptera Chironomidae) from two alpine streams (Italian Alps). D. cinerella was collected in two sites on the non-glacial Vermigliana stream, 50 m-upstream and 5-m downstream of the Wastewater Treatment Plant (WTP) at...
Article
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Carabid beetles and chironomid midges are two dominant cold-adapted taxa, respectively on glacier forefiel terrains and in glacial-stream rivers. Although their sensitivity to high altitude climate warming is well known, no studies compare the species assemblages exhibited in glacial systems. Our study compares diversity and distributional patterns...
Conference Paper
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Maximum water temperature is one of the main ecological predictors driving invertebrate distribution in glacier-fed streams in the Alps. Three cold-stenothermal species have been selected as "thresh-old indicator taxa" of changes in community structure at Tmax> 6°C.
Article
Red deer (Cervus elaphus) increasing density may trigger several modifications at the ecosystem level. Positive and negative impact of red deer on the invertebrate fauna is known in northern Europe, whereas it is currently unknown in the Alps. In this paper, we tested the impact of red deer density on ground beetles’ (Coleoptera: Carabidae) richnes...
Article
Full-text available
Diversity and distribution of chironomid fauna (Diptera: Chironomidae) in 36 springs in the Italian Prealps (Veneto and Trentino NE-Italy, 46°N, 10-11°E) was studied in relation to altitude, spring type and grade of disturbance. The springs were located between 62 and 1710 m a.s.l. of altitude, in three calcareous mountain areas (Baldo Mt, Lessini...
Article
Several studies have indicated the presence of contaminants in Alpine aquatic ecosystems. Even if measured concentrations are far below those that cause acute effects, continuous exposure to sub-lethal concentrations may have detrimental effects on the aquatic species present in these remote environments. This may lead to a cascade of indirect effe...
Article
Full-text available
Taxonomy is a scientific discipline that has provided the universal naming and classification system of biodiversity for centuries and continues effectively to accommodate new knowledge. A recent publication by Garnett and Christidis [1] expressed concerns regarding the difficulty that taxonomic changes represent for conservation efforts and propos...
Article
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Tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) arrived in Trentino (NE-Italy) in 1996 and it is present in Trento since 2008. Since 2010, the MUSE has been monitoring its presence and distribution with ovitraps. In all, 6,094 ovitraps were placed in 63 sites located in eight Districts. Data confirmed the stable presence of Ae. albopictus in all urban area of Tr...
Article
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Global change threatens invertebrate biodiversity and its central role in numerous ecosystem functions and services. Functional trait analyses have been advocated to uncover global mechanisms behind biodiversity responses to environmental change, but the application of this approach for invertebrates is underdeveloped relative to other organism gro...
Article
The aim of this work was to highlight the main ecological predictors driving invertebrate distribution in eight glacier-fed streams in the Southern Alps. Thirty-five sites belonging to four stream types were sampled monthly during the ablation season of one, two or three years between 1996 and 2014. Taxa from glacial (kryal and glacio-rhithral) and...
Article
Full-text available
Un dato è certo: il clima sta cambiando a livello globale. È noto a tutti che la temperatura dell'a-ria è in aumento, le calotte di ghiaccio polari si stanno fondendo, il livello del mare sta aumen-tando, e stanno diventando sempre più frequen-ti eventi climatici estremi quali alluvioni e siccità, il tutto con elevati costi sociali ed economici. Gl...
Article
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Era dal 2003 che nell'opinione comune non si percepiva un'estate così torrida. La differenza è che nel 2003 la zanzara tigre (Aedes albopi-ctus) a Trento non c'era. La prima segnalazione di zanzara tigre in Italia è del 1990, nel porto di Genova, dove arrivò con una nave che tra-sportava pneumatici dagli Stati Uniti. Nell'estate successiva aveva gi...
Article
The threats posed by climate change make it important to expand knowledge concerning cold and heat tolerance in stenothermal species from habitats potentially threatened by temperature changes. Thermal limits and basal metabolism variations were investigated in Pseudodiamesa branickii (Diptera: Chironomidae) under thermal stress between -20 and 37°...
Article
Full-text available
Glaciers cover ∼10% of the Earth's land surface, but they are shrinking rapidly across most parts of the world, leading to cascading impacts on downstream systems. Glaciers impart unique footprints on river flow at times when other water sources are low. Changes in river hydrology and morphology caused by climate-induced glacier loss are projected...
Poster
Full-text available
The diversity and distribution of chironomids at spring’s source (eukrenal) were studied in relation to environmental factors, including different disturbance sources (water abstraction, agriculture, pasture etc.) in 37 springs in the Italian Prealps (Veneto and Trentino NE-Italy, 46°N, 10-11°E). The springs are located in three mountain areas (Bal...