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The Stagnone of Marsala lagoon

  • Autori: Calvo, S; Di Maida, G; Orestano, C; Pirrotta, M; Tomasello, A
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2009
  • Tipologia: Capitolo o Saggio (Capitolo o saggio)
  • Parole Chiave: Angiosperms, Mediterranean Sea, Sicily, Seaweeds, Stagnone of Marsala, Transitional waters, Tyrrhenian Sea
  • OA Link:


The Stagnone of Marsala is an oligotrophic lagoon situated on the western coast of Sicily. The area has been under study since the mid-nineteenth century. Research has focused on its physiographic, chemical-physical, biological, ecological features and, particularly, on submerged vegetation. Its main biotic component, a meadow of Posidonia oceanica, is distributed among peculiar reef formations inside and outside the lagoon, which are extremely interesting from an ecological and environmental point of view. The seagrass grows near to its thermal and salinity tolerance level in the inner lagoon, where it is partially replaced by Cymodocea nodosa and Caulerpa prolifera meadows. Algal assemblages are characterised by both attached and/or unattached seaweeds that accumulate in areas of different extension, where they remain lying freely and slowly rolling on the seabed. Over the past few years, as a result of the global climate change, a noticeable reduction in the lagoon biodiversity has occurred due to decreased water exchange, and an increase in both confinement and temperature. Therefore, a consistent, suitable and well organised monitoring plan should be developed for the protection and the recovery of the Stagnone of Marsala lagoon.