Macrobenthic community changes due to dystrophic events and freshwater inflow: Changes in space and time in a Mediterranean lagoon (Gialova lagoon, SW Greece)

TitleMacrobenthic community changes due to dystrophic events and freshwater inflow: Changes in space and time in a Mediterranean lagoon (Gialova lagoon, SW Greece)
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsChatzigeorgiou, G, Reizopoulou S, Maidanou M, Naletaki M, Orneraki E, Apostolaki E, Arvanitidis C
JournalEstuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
Pages111 - 121
KeywordsDystrophic crises, Mediterranean lagoons, Spatial and temporal changes

This paper considers the hypothesis that changes in community structure through the control of the larvae maintenance and of the biological traits of the species mostly contribute to the spatio-temporal community pattern. This is supported by the results of the study, the changes to the macrobenthic community pattern deriving from two sampling periods in Gialova lagoon (SW Greece), carried out on a seasonal basis for two yearly periods: 1994-95 and 1998-99. Cognetti's hypothesis that populations of the tolerant species occupying coastal marine habitats may belong to different species is another alternative hypothesis still to be tested. The importance of alternative management plans aiming at the amelioration of the hydrodynamic conditions of the lagoons and supported by continuous scientific monitoring is highlighted. Two canals bringing fresh water were opened at the beginning of the second sampling period, an intervention among others, suggested by the management plan proposed after the end of the first sampling period. The results show considerable variations in the values of the key environmental variables, for instance long periods with negative Redox potential values, decreased salinity and increased concentrations of the particulate organic matter and of the nutrients. The variables were correlated with the spatio-temporal community pattern, characterized during the second sampling period by: (i) greater dissimilarities among stations/seasons; (ii) disruption of the periodic trend observed on the seasonal scale; (iii) larger relative dissimilarities among the patterns stemming from the macrobenthos and the most abundant groups (polychaetes, molluscs, crustaceans); (iv) significant decrease in abundance or even the disappearance of several marine origin species, along with increased abundance in a few brackish-water species. All of the above changes in the community pattern are considered as early warning signals leading towards degradation, which has not yet been registered in the phylogenetic/taxonomic structure of the macrobenthic community. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


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