Sedimentary facies of seven Posidonia oceanica meadows of western Mediterranean Sea were investigated. Five meadows are located in the Tyrrhenian coast, two are placed in the western coast of Sardinia and Corsica. These meadows develop on soft and hard substrates, often forming ``mattes'', in areas characterized by different oceanography, morphology, and terrigenous inputs produced by coastal erosion and fluvial runoff. A total of five sedimentary facies have been recognized ranging from pure terrigenous to bioclastic: terrigenous sand to gravelly sand, bioclastic sands, skeletal gravelly sands, mixed siliciclastic--carbonate sands, well to moderately sorted skeletal siliciclastic sands. All of the sedimentary facies associated with P. oceanica are in the sand grain size. The gravelly fraction is generally subordinated and variable, whereas the muddy fraction is generally low. The very low frequencies of the muddy fraction can be attributed to re-suspension processes and to the lack of carbonate mud production. The rate of epiphytic carbonate production obtained by two of the investigated meadows averages 400 g m−2 year−1. This value is in the range of temperate Mediterranean as well as of tropical and subtropical seagrasses. The epiphytic carbonate production plus the calcareous biota living on seagrass substrate contributes to form mixed siliciclastic--carbonate sediments of the nearshore environment of the Mediterranean. Lastly, the carbonate production associated with seagrass was derived by biota belonging to the heterozoan assemblage, where aphotic organisms are dominant, together with oligophotic biota such as coralline algae and symbiont-bearing foraminifera. Consequently, in the well-illuminated seagrass settings, the prevalent skeletal assemblages is represented by the heterozoan association while the components of the photozoan assemblages are absent or subordinate. This a key point for the paleoenvironmental reconstruction of the photic zone in the fossil record. Because the skeletal components of many seagrass dwellers greatly contribute to the carbonate sediment production of photic shallow-water environments, the seagrass meadows became substantial places of carbonate production and C (organic and inorganic) sequestration during the Cenozoic.

The sedimentary facies of Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadows from the central Mediterranean Sea / Gaglianone, Giovanni; Brandano, Marco; Mateu Vicens, Guillem. - In: FACIES. - ISSN 0172-9179. - STAMPA. - 63:4(2017). [10.1007/s10347-017-0511-2]

The sedimentary facies of Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadows from the central Mediterranean Sea

GAGLIANONE, Giovanni;BRANDANO, Marco
;
2017

Abstract

Sedimentary facies of seven Posidonia oceanica meadows of western Mediterranean Sea were investigated. Five meadows are located in the Tyrrhenian coast, two are placed in the western coast of Sardinia and Corsica. These meadows develop on soft and hard substrates, often forming ``mattes'', in areas characterized by different oceanography, morphology, and terrigenous inputs produced by coastal erosion and fluvial runoff. A total of five sedimentary facies have been recognized ranging from pure terrigenous to bioclastic: terrigenous sand to gravelly sand, bioclastic sands, skeletal gravelly sands, mixed siliciclastic--carbonate sands, well to moderately sorted skeletal siliciclastic sands. All of the sedimentary facies associated with P. oceanica are in the sand grain size. The gravelly fraction is generally subordinated and variable, whereas the muddy fraction is generally low. The very low frequencies of the muddy fraction can be attributed to re-suspension processes and to the lack of carbonate mud production. The rate of epiphytic carbonate production obtained by two of the investigated meadows averages 400 g m−2 year−1. This value is in the range of temperate Mediterranean as well as of tropical and subtropical seagrasses. The epiphytic carbonate production plus the calcareous biota living on seagrass substrate contributes to form mixed siliciclastic--carbonate sediments of the nearshore environment of the Mediterranean. Lastly, the carbonate production associated with seagrass was derived by biota belonging to the heterozoan assemblage, where aphotic organisms are dominant, together with oligophotic biota such as coralline algae and symbiont-bearing foraminifera. Consequently, in the well-illuminated seagrass settings, the prevalent skeletal assemblages is represented by the heterozoan association while the components of the photozoan assemblages are absent or subordinate. This a key point for the paleoenvironmental reconstruction of the photic zone in the fossil record. Because the skeletal components of many seagrass dwellers greatly contribute to the carbonate sediment production of photic shallow-water environments, the seagrass meadows became substantial places of carbonate production and C (organic and inorganic) sequestration during the Cenozoic.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1012076
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