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Environmental Metal Pollution Considered as Noise: Effects on the Spatial Distribution of Benthic Foraminifera in two coastal Marine Areas of Sicily (Southern Italy)

  • Autori: Valenti, D; Tranchina, L; Brai, M; Caruso, A; Cosentino, C; Spagnolo, B
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2008
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
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We analyze the spatial distributions of two groups of benthic foraminifera (Adelosina spp. + Quinqueloculina spp. and Elphidium spp.), along Sicilian coast, and their correlation with six different heavy metals, responsible for the pollution. Samples were collected inside the Gulf of Palermo, which has a high level of pollution due to heavy metals, and along the coast of Lampedusa island (Sicily Channel, Southern Mediterranean), which is characterized by unpolluted sea waters. Because of the environmental pollution we find: (i) an anticorrelated spatial behaviour between the two groups of benthic foraminifera analyzed; (ii) an anticorrelated (correlated) spatial behaviour between the first (second) group of benthic foraminifera with metal concentrations; (iii) an almost uncorrelated spatial behaviour between low concentrations of metals and the first group of foraminifera in clean sea water sites.We introduce a two-species model based on the generalized Lotka–Volterra equations in the presence of amultiplicative noise, which models the interaction between species and environmental pollution due to the presence in top-soft sediments of heavy metals. The interaction coefficients between the two species are kept constant with values in the coexistence regime. Using proper values for the initial conditions and the model parameters, we find for the two species a theoretical spatial distribution behaviour in a good agreement with the data obtained from the 63 sites analyzed in our study.