In the last few decades, Ostreopsis spp., toxic benthic dinolagellates of tropical origin, generated large interest in the Mediterranean Sea, where several bloom events have been observed. Ecology and proliferation dynamics of O. cf. ovata are driven by complex interactions among biotic and abiotic drivers, and understanding mechanisms triggering bloom events is still far from being complete. The aim of the present study is to highlight the role of di erent habitat conditions, elucidating the e ects of i) exposure to hydrodynamic conditions, ii) macroalgal community and iii) urbanisation level, in driving O. cf. ovata bloom dynamics. A signi cant e ect of hydro- dynamics was observed only for cells in seawater, with higher abundances in sheltered zones, irrespective of the urbanisation level. Similarly, a signi cant e ect of the dominant macroalgal community, with higher abun- dances in Corallinales and turf dominated communities, and lower ones in Cystoseira amentacea canopies, has been recorded, consistently in the di erently urbanised sites. Additionally, stretches of the coast su ering from a more intense anthropic exploitation are in general more prone to the proliferation of potentially toxic benthic microalgae. All these results imply a larger risk exposure to toxic e ects for humans in urban beaches and sheltered areas, usually more attended by swimmers and bathers. These ndings underline the need to preserve, and eventually restore, canopy dominated assemblages, which presently are under regression because of human threats, providing a straightforward example that restoration of relevant habitats implies a cascading im- provement of human welfare.

Habitat effects on Ostreopsis cf. ovata bloom dynamics

Meroni L.;M. Chiantore;M. Petrillo;V. Asnaghi
2018-01-01

Abstract

In the last few decades, Ostreopsis spp., toxic benthic dinolagellates of tropical origin, generated large interest in the Mediterranean Sea, where several bloom events have been observed. Ecology and proliferation dynamics of O. cf. ovata are driven by complex interactions among biotic and abiotic drivers, and understanding mechanisms triggering bloom events is still far from being complete. The aim of the present study is to highlight the role of di erent habitat conditions, elucidating the e ects of i) exposure to hydrodynamic conditions, ii) macroalgal community and iii) urbanisation level, in driving O. cf. ovata bloom dynamics. A signi cant e ect of hydro- dynamics was observed only for cells in seawater, with higher abundances in sheltered zones, irrespective of the urbanisation level. Similarly, a signi cant e ect of the dominant macroalgal community, with higher abun- dances in Corallinales and turf dominated communities, and lower ones in Cystoseira amentacea canopies, has been recorded, consistently in the di erently urbanised sites. Additionally, stretches of the coast su ering from a more intense anthropic exploitation are in general more prone to the proliferation of potentially toxic benthic microalgae. All these results imply a larger risk exposure to toxic e ects for humans in urban beaches and sheltered areas, usually more attended by swimmers and bathers. These ndings underline the need to preserve, and eventually restore, canopy dominated assemblages, which presently are under regression because of human threats, providing a straightforward example that restoration of relevant habitats implies a cascading im- provement of human welfare.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/930045
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