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

Authors


A. M. Mannino, Dipartimento di Scienze Botaniche, Via Archirafi n. 38, 90123 Palermo, Italia.
E-mail: ammannino@unipa.it

Abstract

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.

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