Reconstruction of the environmentalevolution of a Sicilian saltmarsh (Italy)

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Abstract

The present study deals with the reconstruction of the environmental evolution of a Trapani saltmarsh (southwestern Sicily, Italy) by combining different analyticalapproaches such as metal content evaluation, low-field nuclearmagnetic resonance (NMR) relaxometry, and benthic foraminifera identification. A 41 cm core was collected in the sediments of a Trapani saltmarsh (southwestern Sicily, Italy) at a water depth of about 50 cm. Different time intervals were recognized, each characterized by peculiar features that testify different environmental conditions. Inparticular, the bottom layers of the sediment core (41–28 cm) comprised the lowest amount of mud fraction, onlysome selected metals, and the lowest foraminiferal density. Here, co-occurrence of abundant microcrystals of gypsum and Ammonia tepida is indicative of hyper-saline conditions. In the sediments from 28 to 6 cm, mud fraction and number of metal elements resulted higher due to the increase of the anthropogenic pressure. The sediments in the last time interval, corresponding to the environmental recovery of the saltmarsh, showed an increase of foraminiferal density, adecrease of the mud fraction, and a trend in the metal concentration attributable to the protection policy applied since 1990. NMR relaxometry parameters highlighted the changes of sediment chemical–physical heterogeneity going from the bottom to the top of the core. These heterogeneities have been related to the different intervals recognized asaforementioned. The present study highlights how the anthropogenicpressure modifies the environmental conditions of a transitional ecosystem like saltmarshes.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)4847-4858
Numero di pagine12
RivistaENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND POLLUTION RESEARCH INTERNATIONAL
Volume20
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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