History of the time series
Marine biological studies in the Gulf of Trieste, Northern Adriatic Sea, started long ago and it was in Trieste that the first
biological research station in the Adriatic Sea, the Zoological Station of Trieste, was founded in 1875. During the First World
War biological research was interrupted and the Zoological Station was closed. Only in the 1960s, thanks to the enthusiasm of
the late Prof. Elvezio Ghirardelli of the University of Trieste, marine research in Trieste was resumed.
The first “organized” and regular biological observations at station C1 date back to the early 1970s when the study of the
net-zooplankton community of the Gulf of Trieste was initiated thanks to the far-sightedness of Prof. Mario Specchi of the University of
Trieste, who clearly recognised the importance of continuous biological observations. However, a regular monthly sampling for
hydrological, chemical as well as biological (phytoplankton and zooplankton in several size classes) analysis only began in 1986.
Since 1994, thanks to several EU-Interreg founded projects, to the support of the regional authority
(Regione Friuli Venezia Giulia)
and to the strong interest of the Director of the Laboratory of Marine Biology of Trieste (LBM), Prof. Serena Fonda Umani,
the set of measured parameters progressively increased, including also smaller size classes such as nanoplankton, picoplankton,
viruses and several physiological processes. Since 2002, the study was further extended to the benthic environment and a dedicated
data-bank was created to store data collected since 1986. Since 2006 the time series station C1 has been formally included in the
Italian network of long term ecological research sites (LTER-Italy) as part of the northern Adriatic LTER site.
The time series station C1, initiated by the University of Trieste, was later taken care by the Laboratory of Marine Biology
of Trieste after its formal institution in December 1979 and, since October 2005, by the Department of Biological Oceanography (BIO)
of the Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e Geofisica Sperimentale (OGS) of Trieste.
Experimental activities are regularly carried out at a monthly basis, thanks to the financial support of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Region and of OGS, the contribution of several international research projects and the support and collaboration of the Regional
Environmental Protection Agency of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia Region (ARPA FVG).