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Concept: Trieste


A new Italian earthworm morphologically close to the similarly large and anecic Eophila tellinii (Rosa, 1888) is described. Distribution of Eophila crodabepis sp. nov. extends over 750 km2 from East to West on the Asiago Plateau and Vittorio Veneto Hills, from North to South on mounts Belluno Prealps (Praderadego and Cesen), Asiago, Grappa and onto the Montello foothills. This range abuts that of Eophila tellinii in northern Friuli Venezia Giulia region. Known localities of both E. tellinii and E.crodabepis sp. nov. are mapped. mtDNA barcoding definitively separates the new western species from classical Eophila tellinii (Rosa, 1888).

Concepts: Italy, Veneto, Earthworm, Lumbricus terrestris, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Trieste, Alpine foothills, Foothills


Malignant mesothelioma is closely associated to asbestos exposure. One such exposure may occur through contact with occupationally exposed household members and their belongings. This study examines the features of pleural mesothelioma attributable only to asbestos brought home by another family member.

Concepts: Cancer, Household, Mesothelioma, Asbestos, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Asbestos and the law, Trieste, Wittenoom, Western Australia


A multidisciplinary approach was used to estimate the pollution level of the marine environment in the North Eastern Adriatic by measurement of the isotopic composition of carbon and nitrogen (δ(13)C, δ(15)N), metal/metalloids analyses (Fe, Cu, Zn, As, Se, Cd and Pb, including As speciation) in the Mytilus galloprovincialis, as well by using metallothioneins (MT) concentrations, micronuclei (MN) in gill cells and biological parameters (condition index and gonadosomatic index). Concentrations of MT were in the range from 44 to 175μgg(-1) wet matter tissue and were higher at the end of the winter season. The frequency of MN did not indicate an elevated level. Sewage sludge pollution was not confirmed. Elevated As concentrations in mussel are related to salinity and low nutrients concentrations and not to pollution. Elevated concentrations of Cu, Zn and Pb were found in the Bay of Koper in comparison with the Bays of Strunjan and Piran.

Concepts: Ecology, Sludge, Slovenia, Adriatic Sea, Istria, Trieste, Piran, Gulf of Trieste


To assess the accuracy of International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) codes in identifying subjects with melanoma.

Concepts: Medicine, Cancer, Medical terms, Melanoma, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Trieste


Land subsidence is a concern in many coastal plains worldwide, particularly in the low-lying areas already facing sea level rise due to climate change, and much still needs to be done, with respect to both mapping land subsidence and gaining a comprehensive understanding of the relevant cause-effect relationships. Land subsidence of the northern coastal plain encompassing the Friuli Venezia Giulia (FVG) region in Italy, remains, to the authors' knowledge, poorly investigated. This coastland includes low-lying agricultural and urban areas and highly valuable lagoon environments, archaeological and touristic sites, and industrial zones. Here, we resolve land subsidence in the coastal plain between the Tagliamento River delta and the Isonzo River mouth over the period 1992-2010 using Envisat ASAR and ERS1/2 interferometric datasets. We identify a large variability of the land subsidence and a spatial gradient that ranges from less than 1mm/year in the high southwestern plain toward the littoral to more than 5mm/year close to the Tagliamento River delta. A comparison between the 2003-2010 and 1992-2000 sinking rates depicts quite similar behaviors of the process over the two time spans. The analysis indicates unclear correlations between ground movements and the typical driving mechanisms acting in the north Adriatic coastal plains, such as the variability of the morphological setting, the subsoil characteristics and the land use. We reason that multi-component mechanisms contribute to the observed image of the subsidence in the FVG coastland. Specifically, anthropogenic activities, e.g., groundwater exploitations, hydraulic reclamations and the development of newly built-up areas, are superposed to natural mechanisms related to the spatial variability of the subsoil characteristics, typical of transitional coastal environments.

Concepts: Coast, River, Steppe, Subsidence, Slovenia, Adriatic Sea, Trieste, Plain


Biological Traits Analysis (BTA) was used to identify functional features of infaunal polychaete assemblages associated with contamination in two Italian coastal areas: the harbour of Trieste (Adriatic Sea) and the Mar Piccolo of Taranto (Ionian Sea). The analysis was performed on 103 taxa, collected at four stations in each area. The two areas differed in species composition. The low diversity and the presence of stress-tolerant species in more polluted sites were not reflected in functional diversity, due to species contributing little to community functions or being functionally redundant. Sand and clay fractions were significant drivers of trait category expressions, however other environmental parameters (depth, total organic carbon and nitrogen, and Hg in sediments) influenced traits composition. Motile was the prevalent trait in environments with coarse sediments, and tube-builder were related to fine-grained ones. Motile, endobenthic and burrower were essential traits for living in contaminated sediments. Epibenthic and sessile polychaetes dominated at stations subjected to high organic loads. BTA offers an integrative approach to detect functional adaptations to contaminated sediments and multiple anthropogenic stressors.

Concepts: Biodiversity, Mediterranean Sea, Natural environment, Water pollution, Italy, Trait, Adriatic Sea, Trieste


Since the environmental levels of selenium (Se) can moderate the bioaccumulation and toxicity of mercury (Hg) in marine organisms, their interactions were studied in seawater, sediments, plankton and the benthic (Bull rayPteromylaeus bovinus, Eagle rayMyliobatis aquila) and the pelagic (Pelagic stingrayDasyiatis violacea) rays, as apex predators in the Gulf of Trieste (Northern Adriatic Sea). Male and female rays showed no difference in the Se contents in muscle tissue. Pelagic species contained higher Se levels in muscle but slightly lower levels in the livers of both genders. The Hg/Se ratios in seawater dissolved and colloidal fractions, plankton and sediment were <0.5, while those in particulate matter were <1.3. In benthic ray species, a parallel increase in Se and Hg in muscle was observed, so that an increased in Hg (MeHg) bioaccumulation results in Se coaccumulation. The Hg/Se ratios (molar) in muscle and liver of pelagic and benthic rays were <1.4 and <0.7, respectively. The low levels of Hg in muscle and liver in all the ray species corresponded to low Hg/Se ratios and increases in muscle and liver to 1 at 7 µg/g, dry weight (dw) and 5 µg/g dw, respectively, i.e., about 1.6 µg/g wet weight (ww).

Concepts: Oceanography, Glycogen, Ocean, Italy, Adriatic Sea, Istria, Trieste, Gulf of Trieste


Our objective was to assess how the distance from home to the closest pediatric emergency department (ED) affects nonurgent emergency room visits among the child population of the Northeastern Italian region of Friuli Venezia Giulia.

Concepts: Italy, Veneto, Slovenia, Milan, Regions of Italy, Trieste


The intense shipping traffic characterising the Adriatic Sea favours the spread of marine organisms. Yet, a study of 12 Adriatic ports (4 on the western side and 8 on the eastern side of the basin) found that non-indigenous species (NIS) accounted for only 4% of the benthic communities settled on hard substrates. The cirripeds Amphibalanus amphitrite and Balanus trigonus, found in 8 harbours, were the most common invaders followed by Amphibalanus eburneus, the ascidian Styela plicata, and the bivalve Magallana gigas. The highest percentage of NIS was recorded in Venice and Ploče, the harbours with the least rich native communities; the lowest percentage was retrieved in Trieste, Koper, Pula, and Rijeka, the harbours hosting the highest species diversity. In contrast, the ports of Bari and Ancona showed both high NIS percentages and highly diversified communities.

Concepts: Mediterranean Sea, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Adriatic Sea, Istria, Trieste, Port cities and towns of the Adriatic Sea


The environmental status of the marine environment in the NE Adriatic Sea was assessed, using as a bioindicator species the Mediterranean mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis Lamarck, 1819. Samples were collected seasonally from mariculture sites and from major Istrian ports between the years 2010 and 2013. The condition indices of mussels ranged from 13.3 to 20.9% at mariculture sites and from 14.3 to 23.3% at port locations. The seasonally δ(13)CDIC values of seawater varied between -10.9 to 0.7‰. Pollution by sewage sludge (based on δ(15)N values) was confirmed only in two ports. Tissue concentrations of Mn, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Se, Cd, and Pb were significantly higher in the tissue of the mussels collected from the ports (polluted sites). Arsenobetaine was the major As compound present in the samples and there was no significant difference in the levels of total As in mussel tissues from mariculture and port sites.

Concepts: Mediterranean Sea, Italy, Slovenia, Mytilidae, Croatia, Adriatic Sea, Istria, Trieste