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Benthic Communities and Environmental Parameters in Three Mediterranean Ports (Sardinia, Crete, Tunisia)
Three seasonal sampling campaigns (winter, summer before touristic period, summer after touristic period) were implemented during 2012 in three Mediterranean touristic ports: Cagliari (Sardinia, Italy), Heraklion (Crete, Greece) and El Kantaoui (Tunisia). Three to five stations were sampled per port, which were part of different port sectors (leisure, fishing, passenger, cargo, shipyard). Three water and three sediment replicate samples were collected per station for analysis of nutrients, pigments and hydrocarbons. One replicate was analysed for physical parameters, heavy metals and granulometry. Five sediment replicates were collected for analysis of benthic biodiversity. Benthic organisms were sorted to the main taxonomic groups (e.g. .Annelida, Mollusca, Arthropoda, Echinodermata) and identified to species level.
Advanced Modelling & Research on Eutrophication & the Structure of Coastal Planktonic Food-webs: Mechanisms & Modelling (AMORE)
The AMORE project contributes to the implementation of an integrated land-coastal zone research methodology to assess and predict the eutrophication level of the coastal North Sea and the associated undesirable effects. The ultimate aim is to reduce the current context of uncertainty in which decisions to counteract the eutrophication of the NS and protect its natural resources are made. Process-level field and laboratory-scale experiments were conducted to improve the basic knowledge on mechanisms through which a change in nutrients (in terms of N:P:Si NO3:NH4 inorganic:organic N ratios) induced modification in the phytoplanktonic community structure and hence the functioning of the whole planktonic food-web. For this the MUMM station 330_a has been monitored for a period of three years.
Advanced Modelling and Research on Eutrophication Linking Eutrophication and Biological Resources (AMOREII)
The AMORE-II research focused on establishing quantitative and qualitative links between nutrient enrichment, spreading of high-biomass algal blooms (Phaeocystis globosa but also the co-occurrent diatom Guinardia delicatula), presence of gelatinous zooplankton (the dinoflagellate Noctiluca scintillans, the appendicularian Oïkoploira dioica) and impact on ecosystem function.
AMORE III addresses the dual control of changing human activity and climate on eutrophication in the Belgian coastal zone and the feedback effect on goods (newly-deployed offshore mussel farming) and services (atmospheric CO2 absorption). AMORE III has among others assessed the geographical spreading and the magnitude of Phaeocystis blooms in the EEZ, the impact of Phaeocystis colony spreading on offshore mussel farming. It combined field observations, laboratory-controlled experiments, and mathematical modelling in an iterative way.