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Factors controlling trophic conditions in the North-West Adriatic basin: Seasonal variability

TitleFactors controlling trophic conditions in the North-West Adriatic basin: Seasonal variability
Publication TypeArticolo su Rivista peer-reviewed
Year of Publication1997
AuthorsGiordani, P., Miserocchi S., Balboni V., Malaguti Antonella, Lorenzelli R., Honsell G., and Poniz P.
JournalMarine Chemistry
KeywordsAdriatic Sea, Mediterranean Sea, nutrient cycling, primary production, Salinity, Seasonality, Temperature, trophic state

The North-Adriatic basin shows typical shallow water mass characteristics which in a first approach, can be considered independent of the Middle and the Southern basins, being more affected by seasonal temperature and salinity variability. Primary production estimates represent the main quantitative assessments of the trophic conditions of a marine system, resulting from the combined effect of a large number of oceanographic factors. In this paper the results from three EUROMARGE AS (EEC-MAST II-MTP project) field trips carried out in 1994 are presented as a contribution to the better understanding of the factors controlling the trophic balance in the Northern Adriatic basin. These results include: depth profiles of salinity, nutrients and chlorophyll a concentrations, oxygen saturation, phytoplankton taxonomy and abundance, estimated biomass and primary production measurements by the 14C in-situ incubation method. The field trips were carried out in three seasons (February, July, September 1994) and the results reported belong to three stations in the northern basin, 5 miles off Ravenna, Cesenatico and Ancona, respectively. As expected, the physical situation of the water column was different in the three periods: the water was mixed in February and stratified in July and September. Nutrient concentrations were higher in winter, whilst the maximum of primary production was measured in September. The phytoplankton was composed predominantly of diatoms. The correlations between primary production and salinity reflect a difference in the factors controlling primary production. During February and September nutrients coming from rivers play an important role, although with a decreasing influence from station I, nearest to the Po delta, towards station 3. Depth profiles of nutrient concentrations and O2 saturation measured during summer in the water column suggest that regeneration of nutrients in the water column down to the bottom boundary layer must play an important role in the nutrient cycling and dynamics in the basin.


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Citation KeyGiordani1997351