Abiotic filtering of benthic invertebrate guilds in the margherita di savoia salt pan, italy

Enrico Barbone1,2,3, Ilaria Rosati2,3, Aurelia Caldararu2,3, Alberto Basset2,3, Lucian P. Georgescu4, Catalina Iticescu4

1 ARPA PUGLIA, Apulia Environmental Regional Protection Agency, Bari, Italy
2 University of Salento, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences and Technologies, Lecce, Italy
3 University of Salento, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences and Technologies, Lecce, Italy
4 Dunarea de Jos University of Galati, European Center of Excellence for the Environment, Faculty of Sciences, 111 Domneasca Street, 800201 Galati Romania

Abstract


The structure of biological communities is a result of the combined action of an environmental selection, determined by the physico-chemical characteristics of an ecosystem. This process results in the selection of the species depending on their tolerances (abiotic filter) and their ability to cope with the interactions among species (biotic filter). In this work, the importance of abiotic filters on the structure of benthic macro-invertebrate guilds was evaluated in a hyperalyne transitional water ecosystem, the Margherita di Savoia salt pan. In two seasons, spring and fall, the selective action of abiotic filter was studied along four levels of an increasing confinement. The role of confinement gradient is fundamental for determining the differences in terms of species richness, diversity and evenness among the four levels. Taxonomic similarity among confinement levels decreases with decreasing physico-chemical similarity. Densities of Chironomus salinarius, Corophium sp., Ventrosia ventrosa, are strongly related to the confinement gradient. The results of this work suggests that in the Margherita di Savoia salt pan abiotic filters play an important role in the determination of benthic macro-invertebrate communities.

Keywords


benthic macroinvertebrates; metrics; saltworks; transitional waters

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