Chiara Facca has completed her PhD at the age of 29 years from Ca’ Foscari University of Venice (Italy) and University of Montpellier (France). She has published 25 papers in international peer-reviewed journals. She collaborated with Italian National Research Council and, now, is employed at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. Her main topic is the assessment of the water status of transitional and coastal ecosystems by studying the aquatic flora and trophic conditions. At the moment she is project manager of a European funded LIFE project aiming at the ecological restoration of lagoons via aquatic angiosperm transplantation


The Multimetric Phytoplankton Index (MPI) aims at providing a tool for the assessment of water status in accordance with the European Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC. The index was set up thanks to the collaboration of several researchers that furnished a robust dataset including more than 800 observations with monthly measurements of phytoplankton cell abundance, taxonomic composition, chlorophyll a and nutrient concentrations. MPI includes four metrics calculated as Hulburt’s dominance index, bloom frequency, Menhinick’s diversity index and geometric mean of chlorophyll a. At present, the MPI is being validated with updated data collected between 2008 and 2010 in Venice lagoon and Sardinia basins. Such data allows to verify the index reliability in choked and restricted transitional water bodies, giving information on their ecological status. Sardinia basins, mainly affected by urban and agricultural discharges, resulted in bad-poor conditions, whereas Venice lagoon presented a wider range of quality conditions, from good, as result of water exchanges with the sea to bad due the marked anthropogenic pressures. The statistical analyses with nutrient concentrations and the expertise knowledge of the considered study cases confirm the effectiveness of the assessment furnished by MPI. The Italian competent authority will evaluate the present data to include MPI in a Ministerial Decree for the classification of water bodies together with other Biological Quality Elements. MPI will, hence, represents an official tool in the process of transitional coastal waters

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