Acquatina Lagoon: a model ecosystem to study community patterns

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Acquatina is a small lagoon ecosystem (0.45 km2) located on the Adriatic coast only 5 km northof Lecce (Italy). The lagoon has a freshwater input in the northern part and a connection withthe sea at the south edge, being characterised by a latitudinal gradient of salinity and an internalpatchiness of habitats. Here, we have used the lagoons as a model to study the influence ofthese sources of variation on the spatial distribution of macrobenthis and fish fauna, using bothtaxonomic and on taxonomic descriptors.Results showed a non random distribution of both species and functional traits of macroinvertebrateand fish fauna within the lagoon, despite the relatively small surface area. Salinity had an higher inflence than boItom habitat patchiness on both macroinvertebrates and fishes; moreover, spatialco-variance of the two guilds was observed both at the taxonomic and at the size level. As regardsfishes, these patterns were common to the dominant species (Atherina Boyeri) and to the rest ofthe fish guild.Results emphasise that common non random distribution patterns are observed even in smalllagoons and for different guilds, including vagile fauna, as fish are. It suggest the occurrenceof high intra-specific and inter-specific divergence in lagoon ecosystem allowing resource useoptimisation through niche specialisation, available energy partitioning and individual energybudget adaptation.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Numero di pagine2
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2013


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