CNR-IRSA activities related to INHABIT

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MIRAGE Project (Mediterranean Intermittent River ManAGEment) aims to provide specific key knowledge for a better assessment of ecological integrity in Mediterranean temporary streams. The project ran from 2009 to 2011 and was supported by funding under the 7th Research Framework Programme of the European Commission (grant agreement 211732).
MIRAGE project has addressed the development of specific tools and methods for adequate characterization of Mediterranean temporary streams in Europe and the Mediterranean basin. Implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive and related River Basin Management Plans (RBMP) and Programme of Measures (PoM) for temporary streams has been delayed indicating the need for the setting of dedicated approaches, as well as a revised and better integrated understanding of the impact of management measures, both under extreme floods and in the context of seasonal dry periods. Mirage project covered 9 European/Mediterranean countries: Greece, Italy, Morocco, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Belgium and United Kingdom.
MIRAGE project has proposed a framework for the characterization of the ecohydrological dynamics and the systematic description of the measured impact for temporary rivers that could bring considerable added value to the EU revision of all relevant water policies. The project recommends additions to WFD articles including an explicit definition of temporary rivers, adaptation of environmental objectives to their peculiarities and specific actions in River Basin Management Plans.
More details on the project are available at the EMWIS portal.
Activities undertaken by CNR-IRSA for the characterization of macroinvertebrates biocoenoses have been carried out in Puglia and Molise. In Puglia river reaches in the Candelaro catchment, characterized from the hydrological point of view, have been selected. At the same time, 3 water bodies have been investigated in Molise, with the specific aim of obtaining data from reference river reaches, showing hydrological conditions similar to those of Candelaro basin. The activity has included the collection of macroinvertebrate samples, according to a multihabitat proportional technique together with a habitat specific sampling and the habitat characterization according to CARAVAGGIO method. Collected elements have allowed a characterization of biocoenoses in temporary rivers and the comparison of river reaches showing different levels of temporary character.
Some of the outcomes of MIRAGE project  that have seen the participation of CNR-RSA are included in scientific publications, such as:

  • De Girolamo AM et al., 2011. Hydrologic regime characterization for a semi-arid watershed. Die Bodenkultur 62: 39-42.
  • Kirkby MJ et al., 2011. Classifying low flow hydrological regimes at a regional scale. Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci 15: 3741-3750.
  • De Girolamo AM et al., 2012. Impact of anthropogenic activities on a temporary river. Fresenius Environ Bull 21: 3278-3286
  • Gallart F et al., 2012. A novel approach to analysing the regimes of temporary streams in relation to their controls on the composition and structure of aquatic biota. Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. 16: 3165-3182.
  • García-Roger EM et al., 2013. Spatial scale effects on taxonomic and biological trait diversity of aquatic macroinvertebrates in Mediterranean streams. Fundam. Appl. Limnol. 183(2): 89-105.
  • Nikolaidis NP et al., 2013.Towards sustainable management of Mediterranean river basins: policy recommendations on management aspects of temporary streams. Water Policy 15(5): 830-849
  • Zoppini A et al., 2014. Organic priority substances and microbial processes in river sediments subject to contrasting hydrological conditions. Science of the Total Environment 484: 74-83.

Some photos shot during the project