, Volume 60, Issue 1, pp 81-95
Date: 06 May 2010

Biodiversity of Phototrophic Biofilms Dwelling on Monumental Fountains

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Among the stone monumental assets, artistic fountains are particularly affected by microbial colonization due to constant contact with water, giving rise to biodegradation processes related with physical–chemical and aesthetical alterations. In this paper, we make an overview of reported biodiversity of the phototrophic patina developed in various fountains of Italy and Spain. The microbial composition of four fountains (two from Florence, Italy and two from Granada, Spain) was investigated using traditional and/or molecular techniques. The results indicated many common similarities with regard the phototrophic biodiversity for all the investigated fountains. Automated ribosomal RNA intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA), a molecular fingerprint tool, was used to examine the eubacterial and cyanobacterial community for two of the investigated fountains. The principal component analysis of ARISA profiles strengthens the results obtained by traditional methods and revealed separate clusters, as a consequence of the differences of micro-environmental conditions for each fountain.