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Detecting Stress at the Whole-Ecosystem Level: The Case of

Summary: Detecting Stress at the
Whole-Ecosystem Level: The Case of
a Mountain Lake (Lake Santo, Italy)
Cristina Bondavalli, Antonio Bodini,* Giampaolo Rossetti, and
Stefano Allesina
Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Parma, Parco Area delle Scienze, 33/A, 43100 Parma, Italy
Detecting the early signs of stress is imperative for
the conservation of natural ecosystems. They may,
however, go unrecognized because ecosystems,
when disturbed, may act as sinks that absorb the
external impact without showing any evident
changes. This seems to be the case for Lake Santo, a
small water body located in a mountainous area of
northern Italy. Tourism activity in this area began
to develop in the early 1970s and grew continu-
ously over the following 20 years. This activity
caused a continually increasing nutrient load into
the waters, but surprisingly the lake has remained
oligo-mesotrophic, as it was before human pressure


Source: Allesina, Stefano - Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago


Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology; Biology and Medicine