The beaches of Liguria have been intensively affected by human activities for over a century, transforming nearly the entire coastline from natural to urbanised and significantly upsetting beach ecological properties. The present study aims to investigate 9 Ligurian beaches characterised by different degree of urbanisation, to test if and to what extent the organic-matter (OM) recycling processes can be linked to the human activity. Swash zone sediment, sampled during the springesummereautumn period, when the anthropogenic influence is at its maximum due to tourism, was analysed for OM features and recycling processes. Multivariate statistical analyses showed that huge amounts of detrital OM accumulated in the more urbanised sites, where the anthropogenic influence was at its peak, deriving from higher inhabitant number and density, from the presence of crowded roads very near to the swash zone and sewage treatment plants. The presence of torrent outlets on the beaches provided further OM accumulation. Lipids, carbohydrates and degraded autotrophic pigments were the OM fractions mainly responsible of the differentiation, and rather constant, high labile phosphorus contents were found in the more urbanised sites. The high activity values of the hydrolytic enzymes indicate the response of the microbial system to the OM accumulation in the urban sites. However, a decoupling of the trends of some enzymatic activities (namely glucosidase and lipase) and their target OM was observed in the highly urbanised conditions.

Urbanised beaches of the Ligurian coastal area (NW Mediterranean): A classification based on organic-matter characteristics and hydrolytic enzymatic activities

MISIC, CRISTINA;A. Covazzi Harriague
2013

Abstract

The beaches of Liguria have been intensively affected by human activities for over a century, transforming nearly the entire coastline from natural to urbanised and significantly upsetting beach ecological properties. The present study aims to investigate 9 Ligurian beaches characterised by different degree of urbanisation, to test if and to what extent the organic-matter (OM) recycling processes can be linked to the human activity. Swash zone sediment, sampled during the springesummereautumn period, when the anthropogenic influence is at its maximum due to tourism, was analysed for OM features and recycling processes. Multivariate statistical analyses showed that huge amounts of detrital OM accumulated in the more urbanised sites, where the anthropogenic influence was at its peak, deriving from higher inhabitant number and density, from the presence of crowded roads very near to the swash zone and sewage treatment plants. The presence of torrent outlets on the beaches provided further OM accumulation. Lipids, carbohydrates and degraded autotrophic pigments were the OM fractions mainly responsible of the differentiation, and rather constant, high labile phosphorus contents were found in the more urbanised sites. The high activity values of the hydrolytic enzymes indicate the response of the microbial system to the OM accumulation in the urban sites. However, a decoupling of the trends of some enzymatic activities (namely glucosidase and lipase) and their target OM was observed in the highly urbanised conditions.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11567/572119
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 2
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 2
social impact