Core samples were examined quarterly at two coastal sites (S1 and S2) and at an offshore station (S3) located in the Po River delta area (northwestern Adriatic Sea). Analyses focused on (i) occurrence of coarse detritus of allochthonous origin in the sedimentary matrix and (ii) the relative influence of macrodetritus enrichment and other environmental factors on the vagile macrofauna. Plant debris occurred in site S1 sediments only in summer and autumn, in contrast, fragments of the phanerogams Cymodocea nodosa and Zostera spp. were found in site S2 sediment throughout the sampling period. Sediments from the offshore site S3 were characterized by negligible plant material, even though in summer and autumn samples debris of continental origin was observed. Even though leaf detritus occurrence at site S2 was similar to5-fold higher compared to the other coastal site S1, it did not influence the total organic matter and its distribution among grain-size classes. Conversely, the specific organic content of dimensional fractions provided an effective assessment of detritus enrichment processes occurring at the two coastal sites. A group of brackish-originated crustaceans (i.e. the amphipods Gammarus insensibilis and G. aequicauda and the isopod Idotea baltica) was the main determinant of among-site multivariate differences in the vagile macrofauna; depositivorous ophiuroids accounted for the residual differences observed during the study period. The analysis of taxa abundance and individual body size indicated that in both site S1 and S3 macrodetritus advection to the benthic system corresponded with passive dispersal of brackish crustaceans, that provided a negligible contribution to the macrobenthic production. In contrast, in site S2 allochthonous inputs from marginal environments could have represented the key factor for the persistence of an authochthonous population of Gammarus insensibilis. The amphipod provided a considerable (19.4%) contribution to the total macrobenthic production of the site, dominated by filter-feeding bivalves and tubicolous deposit feeders. The potential effects of detritivorous crustaceans on soft-bottom macrobenthic assemblages of the northern Adriatic Sea are discussed. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
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|Titolo:||The influence of allochthonous leaf detritus on the occurrence of crustacean detritivores in the soft-bottom macrobenthos of the Po River delta area (northwestern Adriatic Sea)|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2002|
|Appare nella tipologia:||01a Articolo in rivista|