, Volume 64, Issue 2, pp 101-115
Date: 22 Sep 2009

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

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.

Communicated by H.-D. Franke.