State of Knowledge of the Trophic State of Worldwide Lagoon Ecosystems: Leading Fields and Perspectives pp. 249-278
Authors: (Monia Renzi, Antonietta Specchiulli, Raffaele D’Adamo, Silvano E. Focardi, Research Centre in Ecology, aquaculture and fishery (Ecolab) Polo Universitario Grossetano, University of Siena, via Lungolago dei pescatori s.n.; 58015, Orbetello (GR), Italy, and others)
Abstract: In the latest years, the environmental research has focused on studying the water quality of marine-coastal ecosystems and on the main consequences of human activities within these environments, their surroundings and catchments. Among aquatic water systems, coastal lagoons are particularly vulnerable to water-quality deterioration, due to their restricted water exchange. In addition, they are used as nursery areas for aquaculture and fisheries exploitations, which represent the main economic relevance for local inhabitants. Protection of the ecological status of worldwide lagoons has to be the key purpose of the International directives, as coastal lagoons are naturally stressed ecosystems which suffer from frequent environmental disturbances and fluctuations related to their geomorphologic characteristics, general hydrodynamics, abiotic and biological parameters. The main keys of ecological research studies in coastal lagoons are represented by the need to improve the general knowledge on system dynamics focusing on the leading aspects useful to develop eco-compatible management plans which allow us to preserve their productivity avoiding losses of biodiversity related to the increase of bioavailabile nutrients. The increasing number of ecosystems exhibiting frequently a progressive decline of water quality has led environmental researchers and managers to identify eutrophication as a major worldwide problem. The development of simple and not expensive well calibrated indices of eutrophication represents one of the most actual ecological fields in which researchers are involved. Many European countries have developed within the Water Framework Directive (CE 2000/60), an environmental quality classification scheme in order to assess the trophic state and water quality through the use of specific indices based on environmental factors. Our aim is to evaluate nowadays the state of knowledge related to eutrophication of worldwide lagoon ecosystems, highlighting the main fields of interest and major problems. Leading problems are related to the choise of useful indices, their calibration, their efficiency in describing dynamics of lagoons characterized by different trophic levels and the selection of the opportune pristine ecosystem as reference for lagoon classifications related to water quality.
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