MAGALETTI, E., BORRELLO, P., SPADA, E., BATALONI, S., DI GIROLAMO, I and GIANI, M., 2011. Surveillance of Potentially Toxic Benthic Microalgae Along the Italian Coast. In: Micallef, A. (ed.), MCRR3– 2010 Conference Proceedings, Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue, No. 61, pp. 353–358. Grosseto, Tuscany, Italy, ISSN 0749–0208.
Since 1989, the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea (MATTM) is carrying out monitoring programs to assess the ecological quality of the marine coastal environment. In the period 2001–2007, phytoplankton communities were investigated every 15 days in 81 areas along the Italian coast and from 2008 also the benthic microalgae communities are being investigated during the Summer months.
In 2006, the Italian Minister for the Environment requested ISPRA to carry out activities in collaboration with the Regional Environmental Agencies (ARPA) aimed at achieving a better understanding of the distribution and bloom dynamics of Ostreopsis species in Italian coastal waters. More recently, the research project “Ostreopsis ovata and Ostreopsis spp.: new risks of microalgal toxicity in Italian seas”, financially supported by the MATTM, has been carried out by ISPRA in collaboration with 10 Italian Universities and Research Institutes. This paper provides an overview of Italian monitoring and research activities on Ostreopsis ovata and other toxic benthic microalgae.