Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Pattern of variation of zooplankton assemblages under the influence of river runoffs: a study case along the Apulian marine coastal waters (southern Italy, Mediterranean Sea)

Enrico Barbone A B , Annamaria Pastorelli A , Vito Perrino A , Massimo Blonda A and Nicola Ungaro A C

A ARPA Puglia – Agency for the Environmental Prevention and Protection of Puglia Region, Corso Trieste 27 – 70126 – Bari, Italy.

B Present address: Water Resources Unit, Institute for Environment and Sustainability – Joint Research Centre of European Commission, Ispra – Italy.

C Corresponding author. Email: n.ungaro@arpa.puglia.it

Marine and Freshwater Research 65(7) 652-665 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/MF13157
Submitted: 16 April 2013  Accepted: 31 October 2013   Published: 16 June 2014

Abstract

The distribution and composition of zooplankton assemblages was investigated along the Apulian marine–coastal area (Mediterranean Sea) in the time period between January 2008 and February 2010. Zooplankton samples were collected monthly from 15 monitoring stations located in two sub-basins, namely, the southern Adriatic (11 stations) and the northern Ionian (4 stations). Results indicated a strong influence of river runoffs on zooplankton assemblages in terms of an increase in the abundance of tolerant species and a reduction of overall richness and diversity of species. Compared with the Ionian, in the Adriatic stations, zooplankton standing stocks showed higher abundances. Results also suggest that the zooplankton can be considered a useful biological indicator of water quality for the Apulian coastal waters and could be used in environmental monitoring programs.

Additional keywords: biological indicator, marine strategy framework directive, nutrient enrichment.


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