Original Article

Helgoland Marine Research

, Volume 64, Issue 2, pp 101-115

Benthic communities along a littoral of the Central Adriatic Sea (Italy)

  • Federica SemprucciAffiliated withDipartimento di Scienze dell’Uomo, dell’Ambiente e della Natura (Dip.SUAN), Università di Urbino ‘Carlo Bo’ Email author 
  • , Paola BoiAffiliated withDipartimento di Scienze dell’Uomo, dell’Ambiente e della Natura (Dip.SUAN), Università di Urbino ‘Carlo Bo’
  • , Anita MantiAffiliated withDipartimento di Scienze dell’Uomo, dell’Ambiente e della Natura (Dip.SUAN), Università di Urbino ‘Carlo Bo’
  • , Anabella Covazzi HarriagueAffiliated withDipartimento per lo Studio del Territorio e le Sue Risorse (Dip.Te.Ris), Università di Genova
  • , Marco RocchiAffiliated withDipartimento di Scienze dell’Uomo, dell’Ambiente e della Natura (Dip.SUAN), Università di Urbino ‘Carlo Bo’
  • , Paolo ColantoniAffiliated withDipartimento di Scienze dell’Uomo, dell’Ambiente e della Natura (Dip.SUAN), Università di Urbino ‘Carlo Bo’
  • , Stefano PapaAffiliated withDipartimento di Scienze dell’Uomo, dell’Ambiente e della Natura (Dip.SUAN), Università di Urbino ‘Carlo Bo’
  • , Maria BalsamoAffiliated withDipartimento di Scienze dell’Uomo, dell’Ambiente e della Natura (Dip.SUAN), Università di Urbino ‘Carlo Bo’

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Abstract

Bacteria, meio- and macrofauna were investigated at different depths in a coastal area of the Central Adriatic Sea, yielding information about the composition and abundance of the benthic community. In particular, 14 nematode genera were recorded for the first time in the Upper Adriatic Sea. All communities resulted as being significantly different between inshore and offshore stations, especially when the season interaction was considered. Sediment grain size seemed to be the main natural variable, along with trophic resources, affecting the distribution and composition of these benthic components, whilst there was no clear evidence of competition for food sources and predatory pressure between the communities. Meiofauna appeared the most useful community for detecting disturbances and river influences. In particular, the lowest copepod abundance in the shallow waters seemed to be related to a greater anthropogenic disturbance inshore, whilst meiofaunal abundance and diversity together with the nematode maturity index suggest the influence of the Foglia and Metauro rivers and the small stream Arzilla.

Keywords

Bacteria Meiofauna Macrofauna Adriatic Sea