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Analyzing the impact of multiple urban pollutants on algae and biofilm

Our colleagues at ICRA have been conducting experiments under controlled conditions to understand the impact of pollutants on algae and biofilm communities. In this particular study, a planktonic algae and benthic biofilm communities were exposed to acute concentrations of some urban pollutants present in urban runoff (rainwater washed through the city).

The objective is to assess how organisms respond to different concentrations and types of pollutants, with a focus on determining their EC50 values (the concentration of a specific pollutant causing a harmful effect in 50% of exposed organisms). This analysis aims to enhance our understanding of the impact of pollutants on aquatic ecosystems.

To advance the study, there are plans to transition the experiment into the field. This involves exposing river biofilm communities to pollutants found in urban runoff directly flowing into the river. The goal is to analyze the responses of these communities both before and after the impact, gaining insights into the real-world effects of urban pollutants on aquatic ecosystems.