Influence of hydrodynamic conditions on the production and fate of Posidonia oceanica in a semi-enclosed shallow basin (Stagnone di Marsala, western Sicily)

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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.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)183-201
Numero di pagine19
RivistaCHEMISTRY IN ECOLOGY
Volume20(3)
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2004

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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

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