Quality assessment of transitional waters using a benthic biotic index: the case study of the Pialassa Baiona (northern Adriatic Sea)

Authors

  • Massimo Ponti,

    Corresponding author
    1. Centro Interdipartimentale di Ricerca per le Scienze Ambientali in Ravenna, CIRSA, Università di Bologna, Via S. Alberto 163, I-48100 Ravenna, Italy
    • Centro Interdipartimentale di Ricerca per le Scienze Ambientali in Ravenna, CIRSA, Università di Bologna, Via S. Alberto 163, I-48100 Ravenna, Italy
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  • Marco Abbiati

    1. Centro Interdipartimentale di Ricerca per le Scienze Ambientali in Ravenna, CIRSA, Università di Bologna, Via S. Alberto 163, I-48100 Ravenna, Italy
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Abstract

  • 1.Conservation and management of transitional waters require monitoring activities that integrate traditional chemical and physical evaluations with biological assessment.
  • 2.Macrobenthic biotic indices have been proposed as an ecologically based, cost-effective tool for environmental quality assessment.
  • 3.Different approaches applicable to the biological assessment of transitional water are discussed.
  • 4.A biotic coefficient (a biotic index developed for European estuaries), different metrics, multivariate ordination plots and chemico-physical measures have been applied to the environmental quality assessment of a northern Adriatic coastal lagoon.
  • 5.Results of the biotic coefficient were positively correlated with values of evenness index (Hill's N10) and with the abundance of the opportunistic polychaete Capitella capitata, and they were negatively correlated with the abundance of the isopod Idotea balthica.
  • 6.Results of the biotic indices are dependent on knowledge of the sensitivity of the species and on the assumptions made. Therefore, their development and validation require a better understanding of population distribution and of assemblage dynamics in response to different natural or anthropogenic disturbances.

Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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