Soil arthropods for faunal indices in assessing changes in natural value resulting from human disturbances

  • Roberto Pizzolotto
Conference paper
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 20)


The solution of a problem through technological innovation results in the creation of a new “space” for a new problem. This “spiral” evolution of human welfare has probably been primed (beginning from the modern age?) by the shift of every-day tools from a usage-value as survival instruments to a usage-value as profit instruments. The development of a new, man made, urban environment, and its unforeseeable and chaotic growth, led to changes in the equilibrium between natural and agricultural landscapes (Figure 1). Human activities cause a disturbance of the environment that can be either manifest immediately, or quantifiable only after long periods (storing effect). In the first case immediate monitoring equipment can be applied, but in the second case the assessment of human impact on the environment is often burdensome in terms of time and resources spent in research. Hence it follows that there is a need to find indicators of disturbance that are present in the study area and that can be measured quickly. Plants and animals answer to this need. It is likely that Clements with his “Plant indicators” (1920) was one of the first scientists who considered living organisms as test tools for the “health condition” of the environment (bioindicators). This point of view is now widely accepted, e.g. in Spellerberg (1991), who takes into account the importance of the integrating properties of living organisms for biological monitoring.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roberto Pizzolotto
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di EcologiaUniversita‘della CalabriaRende (CS)Italy

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