Bottom-Up Control of Macrobenthic Communities in a Guanotrophic Coastal System

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Abstract

Soft bottom macrobenthic communities were studied seasonally in three coastal ponds (Marinello ponds, Italy) at increasing distances from a gull (Larus michahellis) colony to in- vestigate the effect of seabird-induced eutrophication (i.e. guanotrophication) on macro- benthic fauna.We hypothesized that enhanced nutrient concentration and organic load caused by guano input significantly alter the trophic and sedimentological condition of ponds, affecting benthic fauna through a bottom-up control. The influence of a set of envi- ronmental features on macrobenthic assemblages was also tested. Overall, the lowest macrobenthic abundances and functional group diversity were found in deeper sites, espe- cially in the pond characterised by severe guanotrophication, where the higher disturbance resulted in a decline in suspension feeders and carnivores in favour of deposit feeders. An increase in opportunistic/tolerant taxa (e.g. chironomid larvae and paraonids) and totally azoic sediments were also found as an effect of the harshest environmental conditions, re- sulting in a very poor ecological status. We conclude that macrobenthic assemblages of the Marinello coastal system display high spatial variability due to a synergistic effect of trophic status and the geomorphological features of the ponds. Themacrobenthic response to gua- notrophication, which was a clear decrease in abundance, diversity and trophic functional groups, was associated with the typical response to severe eutrophication, magnified by the geomorphological features.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)-
Numero di pagine19
RivistaPLoS One
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2015

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Ponds
Eutrophication
Functional groups
eutrophication
fauna
Charadriiformes
Laridae
seabirds
Chironomidae
carnivores
Italy
animal manures
Nutrients
Larva
Macros
Suspensions
Sediments
nutrient content
Deposits
Food

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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title = "Bottom-Up Control of Macrobenthic Communities in a Guanotrophic Coastal System",
abstract = "Soft bottom macrobenthic communities were studied seasonally in three coastal ponds (Marinello ponds, Italy) at increasing distances from a gull (Larus michahellis) colony to in- vestigate the effect of seabird-induced eutrophication (i.e. guanotrophication) on macro- benthic fauna.We hypothesized that enhanced nutrient concentration and organic load caused by guano input significantly alter the trophic and sedimentological condition of ponds, affecting benthic fauna through a bottom-up control. The influence of a set of envi- ronmental features on macrobenthic assemblages was also tested. Overall, the lowest macrobenthic abundances and functional group diversity were found in deeper sites, espe- cially in the pond characterised by severe guanotrophication, where the higher disturbance resulted in a decline in suspension feeders and carnivores in favour of deposit feeders. An increase in opportunistic/tolerant taxa (e.g. chironomid larvae and paraonids) and totally azoic sediments were also found as an effect of the harshest environmental conditions, re- sulting in a very poor ecological status. We conclude that macrobenthic assemblages of the Marinello coastal system display high spatial variability due to a synergistic effect of trophic status and the geomorphological features of the ponds. Themacrobenthic response to gua- notrophication, which was a clear decrease in abundance, diversity and trophic functional groups, was associated with the typical response to severe eutrophication, magnified by the geomorphological features.",
author = "Antonio Mazzola and Salvatrice Vizzini and Geraldina Signa and Valentina Costa",
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T1 - Bottom-Up Control of Macrobenthic Communities in a Guanotrophic Coastal System

AU - Mazzola, Antonio

AU - Vizzini, Salvatrice

AU - Signa, Geraldina

AU - Costa, Valentina

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - Soft bottom macrobenthic communities were studied seasonally in three coastal ponds (Marinello ponds, Italy) at increasing distances from a gull (Larus michahellis) colony to in- vestigate the effect of seabird-induced eutrophication (i.e. guanotrophication) on macro- benthic fauna.We hypothesized that enhanced nutrient concentration and organic load caused by guano input significantly alter the trophic and sedimentological condition of ponds, affecting benthic fauna through a bottom-up control. The influence of a set of envi- ronmental features on macrobenthic assemblages was also tested. Overall, the lowest macrobenthic abundances and functional group diversity were found in deeper sites, espe- cially in the pond characterised by severe guanotrophication, where the higher disturbance resulted in a decline in suspension feeders and carnivores in favour of deposit feeders. An increase in opportunistic/tolerant taxa (e.g. chironomid larvae and paraonids) and totally azoic sediments were also found as an effect of the harshest environmental conditions, re- sulting in a very poor ecological status. We conclude that macrobenthic assemblages of the Marinello coastal system display high spatial variability due to a synergistic effect of trophic status and the geomorphological features of the ponds. Themacrobenthic response to gua- notrophication, which was a clear decrease in abundance, diversity and trophic functional groups, was associated with the typical response to severe eutrophication, magnified by the geomorphological features.

AB - Soft bottom macrobenthic communities were studied seasonally in three coastal ponds (Marinello ponds, Italy) at increasing distances from a gull (Larus michahellis) colony to in- vestigate the effect of seabird-induced eutrophication (i.e. guanotrophication) on macro- benthic fauna.We hypothesized that enhanced nutrient concentration and organic load caused by guano input significantly alter the trophic and sedimentological condition of ponds, affecting benthic fauna through a bottom-up control. The influence of a set of envi- ronmental features on macrobenthic assemblages was also tested. Overall, the lowest macrobenthic abundances and functional group diversity were found in deeper sites, espe- cially in the pond characterised by severe guanotrophication, where the higher disturbance resulted in a decline in suspension feeders and carnivores in favour of deposit feeders. An increase in opportunistic/tolerant taxa (e.g. chironomid larvae and paraonids) and totally azoic sediments were also found as an effect of the harshest environmental conditions, re- sulting in a very poor ecological status. We conclude that macrobenthic assemblages of the Marinello coastal system display high spatial variability due to a synergistic effect of trophic status and the geomorphological features of the ponds. Themacrobenthic response to gua- notrophication, which was a clear decrease in abundance, diversity and trophic functional groups, was associated with the typical response to severe eutrophication, magnified by the geomorphological features.

UR - http://hdl.handle.net/10447/120672

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