The expansion of intensive marine aquaculture caused a general concern about possible adverse effects on the ecosystem health; meiofauna has been proposed as bioindicator to monitor the impact of such activities on benthic biota; however, results appear contrasting, so far. The present research analyzed a fish farm located in Sicily (Southern Italy), producing ca 450 tons of Bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) per year. Samples were collected over two farming cycles at different distances from the cages, following the direction of the dominant sea current. Effects on meiofauna community structure were investigated by means univariate and multivariate analyses. In the area, meiobenthic community was constituted by more than 20 major groups, the most abundant being the Nematoda, Harpacticoida and Kinorhyncha. Fish farm activity caused a significant increase of nematodes density beneath the cages along with a sharp increase in abundance of two species of Cletodidae (Harpacticoida) and the noticeable decrease of kinorhynchs under and in the proximity of the cages (0-25 m). SIMPER analysis pointed out that the main contribution to the dissimilarity among samples, grouped according to the distance from the cages, was due to kinorhynchs and nauplii. ANOSIM showed a clear distinction between the community below the cages and those of other investigated sites. Finally, BIOENV analysis found a significant correlation among meiofauna, total organic matter and sulphide content in bottom sediment. The high kinorhynch diversity allowed the use of taxonomic biodiversity indexes for this group in this research and initiate a larger inventory of species of this group along the Italian coastline. The study indicates an impact of fish farming on meiofauna even though restricted to a limited area and encourages to further research on copepods and kinorhynchs species as indicators of organic enrichment.
Fish farming effects on meiofauna: focus on copepods and kinorhynchs / Dal Zotto, M; Todaro, M A. - (2010). ((Intervento presentato al convegno XIV Meiofauna International Conference (FOURTHIMCO).
|Data di pubblicazione:||2010|
|Titolo:||Fish farming effects on meiofauna: focus on copepods and kinorhynchs|
|Autore/i:||Dal Zotto, M; Todaro, M A|
|Nome del convegno:||XIV Meiofauna International Conference (FOURTHIMCO)|
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