Influence of water exchange on the production and fate of Posidonia oceanica (l.) Delile in a semi-enclosed shallow basin (stagnone di Marsala, western Sicily)

Goffredo La Loggia, Sebastiano Calvo, Gianluca Sara', Salvatrice Vizzini, Maria Pirrotta, Giuseppe Ciraolo, La Loggia G; Calvo S; Ciraolo G; Mazzola A; Pirrotta M; Sara' G; Tomasello A; Vizzini S

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

An integrated approach using hydrodynamic and transport numerical models, lepidochronology and stable isotope analysis was used to investigate how local hydrodynamic conditions influence the primary production and fate of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica in a Mediterranean semi-enclosed marine system (Stagnone di Marsala). The water mass exchange aptitude of different sectors of the basin was analysed, and data collected were used to select two sectors (colonized by Posidonia oceanica showing the lowest and highest water exchange values) for biological analyses. According to the mean dispersal coefficient differences simulated by the hydrodynamic model, growth rate and primary production of P. oceanica differed between sectors, with average values lower in the central sector where water exchange is lower than in the southern sector. Although P. oceanica coverage and primary production were higher in the southern sector, carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analysis suggests that the transfer of seagrass organic matter to higher trophic levels of the food web was higher in the central sector. The possibility of a link between hydrodynamism, production and fate of organic matter is proposed to explain the observed patterns.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-201
Number of pages19
JournalCHEMISTRY IN ECOLOGY
Volume20 (3)
Publication statusPublished - 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Ecology

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