Having successfully completed the training of the technical staff of all 6 pilot areas, LIFE STREAMS now enters the heart of the activities with the collection of biological samples and ecological data essential for the genetic and demographic description of the S. cettii populations subject of the actions conservation.
In each of the 76 protected areas of the project, data will be collected for the genetic and demographic characterization, for the description of freshwater habitats and for the monitoring of the project actions.
In fact, along the Italian rivers, only a very small portion of the S. cettii populations analyzed up to now have shown no trace of genetic introgression with the genome of the Atlantic trout. Therefore, in this context, a correct genetic and demographic characterization of the existing populations is essential to define which conservation actions must be implemented.
Furthermore, the analysis of the fragmentation of river corridors is fundamental for mapping river barriers; these data, together with the genetic data, will be used to identify sites where fish passages can be installed (presence of indigenous population above and below the barriers) or river stretches to be eradicated.
Finally, demographic characterization represents an equally important tool for defining the quality of the population structure, assessing the environmental pressures affecting the populations investigated and estimating the number of wild specimens that can be collected for artificial breeding in hatcheries without compromising the state. of wild populations.
The genetic analyzes will be carried out by a specialized laboratory and the genetic data provided by it will be analyzed by ISPRA, while the demographic and environmental data will be collected and analyzed by UNIPG.