The effect of Ruppia cirrhosa features on macroalgae and suspended matter in a Mediterranean shallow system


A. M. Mannino, Dipartimento di Scienze Botaniche, Via Archirafi n. 38, 90123 Palermo, Italia.


Relationships among chemical–physical features, total gross suspended organic matter, coverage of the seagrass Ruppia cirrhosa and its associated algal community in eight ponds of a saltworks system of western Sicily (Mediterranean Sea) were investigated in spring and summer 2004. All biological features varied both at different levels of seagrass coverage and between seasons. A low algal diversity (46 taxa, 14.75 ± 1.41 on average) was highlighted; algal coverage and species richness showed to be negatively correlated. Ruppia cirrhosa coverage was negatively correlated with algal coverage, but positively correlated with species richness. Moreover, a significant correlation among R. cirrhosa coverage, the availability of suspended matter in the water column and the chlorophyll a concentration was detected.