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Impact on the water column biogeochemistry of a Mediterranean mussel and fish farm

  • Autori: La Rosa, T.; Mirto, S.; Favaloro, E.; Savona, B.; Sarà, G.; Danovaro, R.; Mazzola, A.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2002
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
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We investigated and compared the impact of organic loads due to the biodeposition of mussel and fish farms on the water column of a coastal area of the Tyrrhenian Sea (Western Mediterranean). Physico-chemical data (including oxygen, nutrients, DOC and particulate organic matter), microbial variables (picoplankton and picophytoplankton density and biomass) and phytoplankton biomass (as chlorophyll-a) were determined on a monthly basis from March 1997 to February 1998. The results of this study indicate that both fish farm and mussel culture did not alter significantly dissolved inorganic phosphorus and chlorophyll-a values, while inorganic nitrogen concentrations were higher in mussel farm area. However, waters overlying the fish farm presented significantly higher DOC concentrations. In contrast, no significant differences were observed comparing particulate matter concentrations. The increased DOC concentrations determined a response of the heterotrophic fraction of picoplankton, while picophytoplankton, likewise phytoplankton, did not display differences among fish or mussel farms and control site. From the analysis of the different microbial components, it is possible to conclude that the impact of fish farms is evident only for the heterotrophic components. The comparative analysis of the mussel biodeposition and fish-farm impact revealed that mussel farms induced a considerably lower disturbance, apparently limited to an increased density and biomass of microbial assemblages beneath the mussel cultures. Copyright © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd.