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BIO Dipartimento di Biologia

Eco-physiology – Behaviour

Specific objectives of the task are:

  • To develop suitable behavioural bio-assays for the eco-audit of sand beaches,  to construct the necessary recording equipment, and orientation chambers, to develop the associated software;
  • To provide training for members of partner groups in the new techniques, and in the analysis and interpretation of the data collected.

 

Orientation

  • Transportable orientation chambers easy to use were developed and constructed. These were provided to local groups to be tested and used at the study sites. 
  • The orientation patterns of key animal species (Talitrus saltator, and other walking arthropods common at the study sites) were analysed with ad hoc software to estimate within and inter-population behavioural variation and its link with environmental factors.

 

Chronobiology

  •  Suitable chambers, incorporating infra-red emitter-receivers, were constructed for long term monitoring of locomotor activity of small sand beach arthropods, under constant conditions. These were held in a small, controlled environment cabinet. Activity were recorded as discrete events using a specially constructed data-logger/interface, and transferred to a p.c. for analysis. 
  •  Variation in characteristics of the activity rhythm were used to estimate the viability of the population, and to predict its ability to adapt to further environmental change. 
  • These techniques once tuned to easy use at the study sites in collaboration with local partners were dispatched as ‘bio-assay-kit’ to the partner laboratories to establish database on study sites.

 

Preference experiments

Choice experiments were conducted in laboratory controlled conditions, for temperature, humidity, salinity, grain size, light, black strip on the horizon.

 

 

 

 
ultimo aggiornamento: 06-Feb-2019
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