Effects of anthropogenic pressure on marine ecosystems


Effects of anthropogenic pressure on marine ecosystems
Convener: Marco Marcelli | Co-conveners: Roberta Ferretti, Xiaoxia Sun, Markus Weinbauer
vPICO presentations
| Fri, 30 Apr, 09:00–10:30 (CEST)

vPICO presentations: Fri, 30 Apr

Chairpersons: Roberta Ferretti, Xiaoxia Sun, Markus Weinbauer
Sudip Kumar Kundu and Harini Santhanam

The livelihoods of more than 30 per cent of the total population in India residing in nine maritime states and four Union Territories are dependent on the diverse ecosystem services offered by coastal and marine systems. Marine fisheries contribute significantly to the Indian economy through the foreign exchange from the export of seafood which corresponds to nearly 5 per cent of the overall export and 20 per cent of the agro-export. In recent times, the anthropogenic pressures due to extensive marine fishing introduce challenges in the marine environment. Marine anthropogeomorphology, capable of transforming the natural settings of the continental shelf dominantly, is often not studied in detail from the perspective of sustainable fishing. For example, the use of the assorted fishing gears can damage the sea floor, apart from the capture of juvenile and non-target fishes. Bottom trawling by mechanised crafts as a part of marine fishing affects the geomorphology of the continental shelf and continental slope by displacing boulders, interrupting the structure of the sediment column, resuspending sediments, and imprinting deep holes on the muddy sea bottom. Occasionally, the abandoned fishing nets/gears on the seafloor are also responsible for the geomorphological damages to the bottom of the sea and death of several marine benthic flora and fauna, a phenomenon referred to as ‘ghost fishing’. Further, Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in the ocean also poses major threats for the marine environment. Thus, it is essential to quantify these impacts of anthropogeomorphology in order to achieve the targets of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14, promulgated by the United Nations Organisation. Marine Fishery Advisories, especially, Potential Fishing Zones (PFZ) advisories may be helpful in reducing the impacts by aiding sustainable harvesting of pelagic fishes under the current scenario. The ESSO-Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) is the nodal agency, which disseminates PFZ advisory since 1999 using remotely sensed datasets of sea surface temperature and chlorophyll-a to reduce the uncertainty during marine fishing. PFZ advisory can help to promote environment-friendly fishing by reducing the search time and hence, ensuring minimal damage to the marine environment.

How to cite: Kundu, S. K. and Santhanam, H.: Anthropogeomorphology of marine fisheries in India: understanding the critical roles of Marine Fishery Advisories towards achieving SDG 14, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-2250, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-2250, 2021.

Melania Cubas Armas, Alonso Hernández-Guerra, Eric Delory, David Dellong, Verónica Caínzos, M. Dolores Pérez-Hernández, Daniel Santana-Toscano, Cristina Arumí-Planas, and María Casanova-Masjoan

The European Union aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Therefore, it is crucial to increase the use of renewable energy. One clean energy source is the wind, and during the last decades, several countries have developed wind farms, not only on land but also in the ocean. Most offshore wind farms have been installed in shallow waters; however, recently, open ocean offshore floating wind farms are being installed in deep waters due to stronger and steadier wind occurring in these areas. Thus, offshore wind turbines are a potential new source of underwater noise. Noise can propagate underwater having the potential to affect marine mammals and fish, among others. Floating wind turbines are known to reduce the installation and decommissioning noise in contrast to fixed-bottom turbines but, nevertheless, the noise produced by the operation of the turbines and the anchoring systems have been scarcely studied, and it is still unknown whether added noise could significantly affect behavior or even hearing capacity in the long term. In the framework of the JONAS European project we anticipate a regional use case with a future installation of a commercial offshore wind farm, to determine how noise would propagate in the region, from installation to operation, and potentially impact (or not) local fauna, focusing initially on mammal groups. In this study, we use the RAM model (Range-dependent acoustic model) which is a parabolic equation (PE) code that calculates the propagation of sound in the ocean using the split-step Padé solution. RAM needs information about the temperature and salinity in the water column to calculate sound speed profiles, as well as the bathymetry and a geo-acoustic model of the bottom. It returns the transmission loss depending on the depth and distance to the source. We have applied the RAM model to an area located in the southeast of Gran Canaria Island, where a plan for a floating wind farm is under consideration. Results and suggestions about the negative impact on marine mammals known to live in this location are presented.

How to cite: Cubas Armas, M., Hernández-Guerra, A., Delory, E., Dellong, D., Caínzos, V., Pérez-Hernández, M. D., Santana-Toscano, D., Arumí-Planas, C., and Casanova-Masjoan, M.: Modeling underwater sound from future offshore wind farms southeast of Gran Canaria Island, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-12326, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-12326, 2021.

Danny Khor, Julia Tiplea, Amy Oxton, and Vincent Lecours

The northern Gulf of Mexico is home to structure-forming cold-water corals and sponges (CWCS) that provide a wide range of ecosystem services to other organisms. Oil and gas infrastructure, such as platforms and pipelines, form an extensive network throughout the northern Gulf of Mexico. Since the construction of the first structures in the early 1930s, detrimental impacts of oil and gas exploration and extraction have been recorded at depths where corals and sponges are found. Given the vulnerability of CWCS to long-term impacts, it is necessary to implement conservation and management measures to protect these fragile ecosystems. This work aimed to identify areas of CWCS habitat that are the most vulnerable to impacts from oil and gas infrastructure, and in parallel, to identify areas that would be suitable for the establishment of conservation sites.

Techniques from geomorphometry were used to derive quantitative seafloor characteristics from bathymetric data provided by the United States Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management. This bathymetric data, which cover about 233,000 km2, represents the current highest-resolution bathymetric grid for the northern Gulf of Mexico, with a cell size of about 12 m. Slope, the orientation of the slope, rugosity, and general, planar, and profile curvatures were derived from the bathymetry in a GIS. These environmental variables were combined with CWCS occurrence data retrieved from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Deep-Sea Coral Data Portal to produce eleven species distribution models (SDMs) based on principles of maximum entropy (MaxEnt). The SDMs were combined with data on the location of active and proposed oil and gas infrastructures to identify potential hotspots of CWCS and analyze their distribution relative to oil and gas infrastructures.

In general, depth and slope were the two primary abiotic drivers of CWCS distribution. However, specific orders of CWCS had different environmental preferences. For example, the curvature of the seafloor was found to contribute to explaining the distribution of the Gorgonacea and Lyssacinosida orders. A summary SDM produced using all available data identified 7,355 km2 (3.5% of the entire study area) as suitable habitat to sustain CWCS ecosystems. Assuming that oil and gas infrastructures can impact ecologically or biologically significant areas within 2 km of distance, active oil and gas infrastructure could impact up to 69,896.6 km2 of seafloor across the entire Gulf of Mexico. The construction of proposed pipelines would add impacts on an additional 279 km2. Within the sole extent of our SDM, 1,496 km2 of suitable CWCS habitat would be impacted by oil and gas infrastructure, which corresponds to 20.34% of all predicted suitable habitat. By comparing predicted CWCS hotspots to the distribution oil and gas infrastructure, we identified nine areas greater than 100 km2 that hold potential for successful conservation and could help create a network of connected protected areas in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Our maps can inform discussions among stakeholders to reach the best conservation and management planning outcomes while considering other ecological, social, economic, and governance factors.

How to cite: Khor, D., Tiplea, J., Oxton, A., and Lecours, V.: Quantifying the potential impacts of oil and gas infrastructures on cold-water corals and sponges in the northern Gulf of Mexico, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-3337, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-3337, 2021.

daniela paganelli, paola lavalle, and monica targusi


Coastal erosion is a serious environmental, social and economic issue in Europe and over the world. Much of Europe’s coastline is eroding and erosion threatens some of the values and functions of the coast. It was estimated that about 15,100 km of European coastline is retreating and that about 15 km2 of land is lost each year. Amongst the different techniques to stop or reduce local erosion, beach nourishment is considered to be one of the main tools for coastal management and also as the more ecologically sound, because it causes minor damage to the ecosystem, an aspect of extreme importance in the Mediterranean sea characterized by landscapes of outstanding natural value and by a large number of particularly sensitive and protected  habitats.

In this framework also in Italy the research of suitable sediment sources for beach nourishment has become a key theme of national interest, included also in the "National Guidelines for the defense of the coast from erosion and the effects of climate change” of the National Table on Coastal Erosion. Sediments for beach nourishment can have different origins, ordinarily comes from terrestrial quarries, and aquatic environment such as river mouths, canals, ports and offshore deposits. In Italy, most of sands used for beach nourishment comes from the dredging of offshore and coastal deposits.

Although dredgings for beach nourishment are carried out using uncontaminated sediments, these activities can produce significant effects on the environment. Extraction can affect benthic communities and demersal fish populations, sea bottom (morphology, bathymetry and sediment) and water column characteristics (turbidity, suspended solid) and in some cases, coastal dynamics.

In this paper we present a review of the main environmental effects induced on the Mediterranean environments by coastal and offshore dredging for beach nourishment, also with the aim to develop good practices and to support administrations engaged in sustainable management of coastal zone

How to cite: paganelli, D., lavalle, P., and targusi, M.: Effects of sand extraction on marine environments: offshore deposits versus coastal deposits , EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-15009, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-15009, 2021.

Shan Zheng and Xiaoxia Sun

Microplastic (MP) contamination is a growing threat to marine biota and ecosystems. As the dominant functional group of zooplankton, copepods are at an increased risk of MP ingestion. The seasonal change in MPs in copepods and the key environmental factors influencing the retention of MPs in copepods are largely unknown. For the first time, the characteristics of MPs in copepods across four seasons were studied in Jiaozhou Bay. The abundance, shape, size, and chemical composition of MPs in copepods were investigated, and the relationships between MP/copepod and key environmental factors were analyzed. The results reveal a significant seasonal difference in the MP/copepod in Jiaozhou Bay. The MP/copepod was 0.26, 0.23, 0.14 and 0.16 in February, May, August and November, respectively. The MP/copepod was significantly higher in winter and spring than in summer, which was possibly correlated with the lower temperature in winter and spring seasons. Seawater temperature was negatively correlated with the MP/copepod value. The MP/copepod in the area near the estuary was significantly higher than inside the bay. No significant seasonal differences were detected in the characteristics of MPs in copepods in Jiaozhou Bay. The size of MPs in copepods ranged from 90 to 2485 μm, with an average of 454±376 μm. Fibers are the most risky MPs in copepods, accounting for 92% of the total. In terms of the chemical composition, a total of 20 polymers were detected from copepods in Jiaozhou Bay in four seasons. The main components were polyester and cellophane. The percentages of polyester were 29.4%, 45.5%, 41.2%, and 57.1%, and those of cellophane were 52.9%, 18.2%, 11.8%, and 28.6% in February, May, August and November, respectively. By revealing the seasonal characteristics of copepods in Jiaozhou Bay, this study provided key parameters of MPs in copepods in Jiaozhou Bay and formed an important basis for further ecological risk assessment of MPs. The chronic effects of low MP retention on copepods, the impact of fibers on copepods, and the risk assessments of MPs under different environmental conditions were recommended as the research topic for the next step to achieve an environmentally relevant risk assessment.

How to cite: Zheng, S. and Sun, X.: Seasonal variation of microplastics ingested by copepods in Jiaozhou Bay, the Yellow Sea, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-9317, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-9317, 2021.

Emily Rowlands, Tamara Galloway, Matthew Cole, Ceri Lewis, Victoria Peck, Sally Thorpe, and Clara Manno

Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba), hereafter krill, are pivotal to the Antarctic marine ecosystem, forming the base of a highly productive system and contributing significantly to the biogeochemical cycle. The negative effects of anthropogenic climate stressors amplified in the Southern Ocean such as rapid warming and ocean acidification (OA) have been acknowledged for krill. Less explored is the impact of increasing plastic pollution, particularly in conditions that reflect the likely future Southern Ocean environment. We hypothesise that krill have heightened vulnerability to multi-stressor scenarios due to their physiological and behavioural traits coupled with rapid environmental changes of their Antarctic habitats. Here, we investigate the single and combined effects of nanoplastic (NP; spherical, aminated (NP-NH2), yellow-green, fluorescent polystyrene nanoparticles) and OA (pCO2-manipulated seawater, pH 7.7) on the embryonic development of krill eggs. Krill were collected in the Scotia Sea within the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean in austral summer 2019. Eggs from a single female were incubated in seawater at 0.5 °C for 6 days with three treatments: (i) with 0.16 μm NP, (ii) in acidified conditions, and (iii) with a combined treatment of NP (0.16μm) and acidification. All NP treatments were at a concentration of 2.5μg/ml. We found that exposure to the NP-OA multi-stress treatment negatively impacted the development of embryos, decreasing the probability of reaching the limb bud stage by 9% compared with the control, whilst no significant difference was observed for the singular NP or OA treatments. This preliminary study supports our hypothesis regarding the potential impacts of multiple stressors on vulnerable embryonic stages of this ecologically critical Antarctic species.

How to cite: Rowlands, E., Galloway, T., Cole, M., Lewis, C., Peck, V., Thorpe, S., and Manno, C.: The impact of nanoplastic on embryonic development of Antarctic krill in current and future acidified conditions of the Southern Ocean, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-11332, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-11332, 2021.

Yunlan Yang, Nianzhi Jiao, and Rui Zhang

Ocean acidification, as a major consequence of excessive emissions of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2), bring about changes in environmental chemistry and marine organism. Evaluation of the response of viruses to ocean acidification is crucial to explore the virus-mediated biogeochemical processes in future ocean. Here we investigated the viral production, decay and virus-host interactions with elevated pCO2 by simulating cultivating experiments in natural environments and laboratory. In the field studies, elevated pCO2 increased lytic viral production in the light compared with the ambient CO2 concentration, but no significant effect was found on lysogenic viral production and viral decay, implying that ocean acidification potentially stimulated the viral propagation in light-dependent microbes while a negligible influence was found on viral structure and life strategy. Consequences of the abundance and infectivity of podoroseophage R2C and siphoroseophage R4C under laboratory incubation verified that viral particles were relatively stable in the acidified ocean, but elevated pCO2 decreased viral infectivity via influencing the indefinite heat labile and high molecular weight dissolved materials in seawater. Strikingly, elevated pCO2 boosted the metabolism of uninfected Synechococcus sp. CB0101 and played a positive effect on the burst size of cyanophage S-CBM2 during the infection, whereas no significant influence was found on the latent period and burst size of siphoroseophage R4C. These results suggesting that the interactions between viruses and heterotrophic bacteria, autotrophic bacteria responded differently to ocean acidification. Thus, ocean acidification was considered as a contributor to viral production via influencing the metabolism of photosynthetic microbes and the interactions between viruses and photosynthetic microbes.

How to cite: Yang, Y., Jiao, N., and Zhang, R.: Effects of Ocean Acidification on Viral Ecological Characteristics, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-14042, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-14042, 2021.

Markus Weinbauer, Chiaki Motegi, Christophe Migon, and Xavier Mari

Microbial communities on marine aggregates could be influenced by ambient water conditions; however, empirical data are scarce. In this study, we used fingerprint analysis of PCR-amplified 16S rRNA gene fragment to examine how microbial communities on aggregates change in response to different conditions of ambient water. We conducted two experiments using seawater cultures from surface waters of the lagoon and the anthropogenically influenced bay of Nouméa, New Caledonia: a transplant experiment in which the artificially produced aggregates from one station was added to ultra-filtered seawater culture of another station, and a water-flow experiment in which the artificially produced aggregates placed in the ultra-filtered seawater culture with or without water-flow. In a transplant experiment, bacterial community composition (BCC) on the bay and lagoon water aggregates were significantly different (p < 0.05, ANOSIM) at the beginning of experiment. After 11 days of incubation, BCC on the lagoon water aggregates were significantly different (p < 0.05) from transplanted communities. Transplantation effect was also observed in the bay water treatments. In a water-flow experiment, BCC on the bay and lagoon water aggregates were significantly different (p < 0.05) at the beginning of the experiment. BCC on the lagoon and bay water aggregates with and without water-flow treatments were significantly different (p < 0.05) at the end of incubation, and effect of water-flow on BCC were observed in the bay and lagoon water treatments. Our experimental studies suggest that changes in ambient water conditions potentially influence microbial communities on aggregates in the Bay of Nouméa.

How to cite: Weinbauer, M., Motegi, C., Migon, C., and Mari, X.: Effect of ambient water conditions on microbial communities on the artificially produced aggregates: Evidence from experiments using two different seawater cultures, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13161, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-13161, 2021.

Chiaki Motegi, Yvan Bettarel, Aurélie Dufour, Xavier Mari, Christophe Migon, Emma Rochelle-Newall, Olivier Pringault, Jean-Pascal Torréton, and Markus Weinbauer

The basic bacterial ecology and diversity was investigated in five running water systems of Southern New Caledonia. These running waters were characterized by potential P-limitation and high concentrations of Ni, Fe, Mn, Cr and Co. The low concentrations of dissolved organic carbon, bacterial and viral abundance, bacterial production and growth efficiency support the characterization of the running waters as oligotroph to ultraoligotroph. Despite these similarities, there were strong differences (<50% similarity) in bacterial community composition between some habitats based on 16S rRNA gene and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) fingerprints. The high coverage of sequenced DGGE bands found for Betaproteobacteria is typical for freshwater systems, however, we found also a strong representation of Gammaproteobacteria. Indeed the three bands found at all stations were related to Limnohabitans (Comamonadaceae) and Alteromonadaceae. Strong differences were also found between the free-living and the attached bacterial fraction with Gammaproteobacteria dominating in two systems. A higher representation of Gammaproteobacteria seems typical for metal-rich freshwater habitats. Consistent with fresh water habitats, majority of phylotypes detected in the sediment was affiliated to proteobacteria. Also, none of the sequences showed a 100% identity with data bases, and 10 of the 22 and 2 of the 23 sequences had similarities higher than 97% in the freshwater and sediment. This could indicate specific adaptations of the community composition either due to the high metal concentrations or due to the geographical isolation of the New Caledonia. 

How to cite: Motegi, C., Bettarel, Y., Dufour, A., Mari, X., Migon, C., Rochelle-Newall, E., Pringault, O., Torréton, J.-P., and Weinbauer, M.: Bacterial abundance, growth and community composition in oligotrophic, metal-rich running waters of Southern New Caledonia, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-12701, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-12701, 2021.

Hauke Flores, Jeremy Wilkinson, Lovro Valcic, Nicole Hildebrandt, Mario Hoppmann, Michael Karcher, Frank Kauker, Marcel Nicolaus, Barbara Niehoff, Astrid Cornils, Julienne Stroeve, Gaelle Veyssiere, and Giulia Castellani

With rapid sea-ice decline, ocean warming and increasing Atlantic inflow, the ecosystem of the Central Arctic Ocean (CAO) is experiencing an unprecedented, potentially disruptive transformation. While this transformation is affecting the biodiversity of marine communities and the ecosystem functions they fulfil, major knowledge gaps about the distribution of pelagic macrofauna (zooplankton and fish) complicate the assessment of the impact of this transformation on biodiversity and marine resources. The largest blind spot remains in the central Arctic Basin, which has been difficult to sample with large sampling gear such as fishing nets due to a year-round ice coverage. However, in the face of increasing human activities and international efforts to implement marine management in the CAO, it becomes important to monitor pelagic fauna in this remote area. One possibility to enable a better sampling of pelagic macrofauna is to use sea-ice thethered autonomous observatories. Within the British/German project EcoLight, we developed a new autonomous sea-ice observatory comprising an ASL Acoustic Zooplankton and Fish Profiler (AZFP). The device has 4 frequencies targeting different size classes of animals. It samples automatically at predefined intervals and transmits the data to a server in Europe via Iridium. It is possible to change the sampling parameters via a remote connection at any time. The AZFP buoy was deployed in the CAO in September 2020, shortly before the end of the MOSAiC expedition. Since then, the buoy has been recording the vertical zooplankton distribution in the water column under the ice. First data show a light-induced change of the vertical distribution of scatterers, transitioning from deep distribution during the polar day, through a short period of diel vertical migration during the twilight period, to a constant presence of scatterers in the surface layer in the polar night. Furthermore, AZFP data suggest an enhancement of zooplankton between the upper pycnocline and ~50 m depth during in an eddie transition. The data collected by the EcoLight AZFP buoy constitute the first hydroacoustic record of zooplankton distribution near the North Pole sampled with a fully autonomous system in the absence of disturbing light sources. They demonstrate the feasibility of year-round automated monitoring of macrofauna in the CAO in relation to environmental properties. Similar autonomous devices may serve as key elements in the future monitoring of biological resources in the CAO and other inaccessible areas.

How to cite: Flores, H., Wilkinson, J., Valcic, L., Hildebrandt, N., Hoppmann, M., Karcher, M., Kauker, F., Nicolaus, M., Niehoff, B., Cornils, A., Stroeve, J., Veyssiere, G., and Castellani, G.: Autonomous zooplankton profiler reveals high-Arctic zooplankton dynamics during transition to polar night, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-14460, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-14460, 2021.

Angelo Odetti, Federica Braga, Fabio Brunetti, Massimo Caccia, Simone Marini, Fantina Matricardo, Marzia Rovere, and Francesca De Pascàlis

The IT-HR InnovaMare project, led by the Croatian Chamber of Economy, puts together policy instruments and key players for development of innovative technologies for the sustainable development of the Adriatic Sea (https://www.italy-croatia.eu/web/innovamare). The project aims at enhancing the cross-border cooperation among research, public and private stakeholders through creation of a Digital Innovation Hub (DIH). The goal is to increase effectiveness of innovation in underwater robotics and sensors to achieve and maintain a healthy and productive Adriatic Sea, as one of the crucial and strategic societal challenges existing at the cross-border level. Within InnovaMare, CNR ISMAR and INM institutes and OGS, in cooperation with the University of Zagreb and other project partners, contribute to developing a solution to access and monitor extremely shallow water by means of portable, modular, reconfigurable and highly maneuverable robotic vehicles. The identified vehicle is SWAMP, an innovative highly modular catamaran ASV recently developed by CNR-INM. SWAMP is characterised by small size, low draft, new materials, azimuth propulsion system for shallow waters and modular WiFi-based hardware&software architecture. Two SWAMP vehicles will be enhanced with a series of kits, tools and sensors to perform a series of strategic actions in the environmental monitoring of the Venice Lagoon:
i) An air-cushion-system-kit will be designed and developed. The vehicle will become a side-wall air-cushion-vehicle with reduction of drag and increase in speed. This will also increase the payload with a reduction of draft.
ii) An intelligent winch kit with a communication cable for the management of underwater sensors and tools.
iii) A GPS-RTK kit for highly accurate positioning in the range of centimeters.
iv) An Autonomous programmable device for image acquisition and processing based on the Guard1 camera. This camera acquires images content and, by means of a supervised machine learning approach, recognises/classifies features such as fish, zooplankton, seabed, infrastructures. The system is conceived for autonomous monitoring activities extended in time in fixed or mobile platforms.
v) A Multibeam Echo-sounder (MBES) coupled with an IMU (for pitch-roll compensation). MBES data can be used, also coupled with Cameras Imagery, through image-detection techniques for reconstruction and comprehensive knowledge of underwater environment and infrastructures. Possible analyses in coastal areas are: seabed mapping also for cultural heritage, offshore structures and resources and monitoring of biodiversity, hydrocarbon, marine litter, pollution.
vi) An underwater Radiometer for multiple analysis: temporal dynamics of optical properties of water; temporal dynamics of water turbidity from water reflectance; submerged vegetation and water depth mapping in optically shallow water; produce reference data for validation of satellite data.
vii) Automatic Nutrient Analyzer for real-time nutrient monitoring. This sensor measures nitrate with high accuracy over a wide range of environmental conditions (including extremely turbid and high CDOM conditions), from blue-ocean nitraclines to storm runoff in rivers and streams. 
The final result of this pilot action is the creation of an innovative prototype platform for sea environmental monitoring. This will be validated through the analysis of results and draw up of guidelines for the improvement of underwater conditions.

How to cite: Odetti, A., Braga, F., Brunetti, F., Caccia, M., Marini, S., Matricardo, F., Rovere, M., and De Pascàlis, F.: Development of innovative monitoring technologies in the framework of InnovaMare Project, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-10131, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-10131, 2021.

Viviana Piermattei, Simone Bonamano, Giovanni Coppini, Ivan Federico, Salvatore Causio, Matteo Ulisse Parodi, Giorgio Fersini, Alice Madonia, Francesco Manfredi Frattarelli, Marco Marcelli, Daniele Piazzolla, and Sergio Scanu

Coastal marine environment is increasingly subject to multiple pressures and stressors produced by the effects of both natural inputs and human activities. Depending on the location and the intensity of these pressures the marine ecosystem, particularly sensitive areas, may be affected. An important disturbance which affects coastal areas can derive from impacts directly connected to the ports expansion: dredging activities, changing in coastal dynamics, etc. The main environmental effects can be associated with suspended sediments and increases in turbidity into the water column, which can have adverse effects on marine animals and plants by reducing light penetration and by physical disturbance. In addition, the change of coast morphology, due to the infrastructure construction, can affect local circulation, sediment transport and shoreline changes. New approaches in coastal infrastructures design are emerging, in order to increase the harmony between project realization and the environment. One of these approaches is represented by Building with Nature, recommended by the European Commission also for dredging and ports development. However, the study of these complex processes needs a multidisciplinary approach able to analyze the response of natural systems to the variations generated by specific interventions and distinguish the variations induced by climatic trends and territorial changes. This strategy was applied along Latium coast, which is an area affected by Tiber river which strongly influences coastal evolution and at the same will be interested by a new important infrastructure, the port of Fiumicino. The project will represent a modern integrated coastal observing system composed by in situ observations, numerical models, remote sensing and informative systems which will be interconnected in order to correctly assess the potential effects of the infrastructure on ecosystems, coastal morphology and uses.

How to cite: Piermattei, V., Bonamano, S., Coppini, G., Federico, I., Causio, S., Parodi, M. U., Fersini, G., Madonia, A., Frattarelli, F. M., Marcelli, M., Piazzolla, D., and Scanu, S.: Design and implementation of an integrated coastal observing system at regional scale, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-12050, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-12050, 2021.

Daniele Piazzolla, Giancarlo Della Ventura, Andrea Terribili, Alessandra Conte, Sergio Scanu, Simone Bonamano, Marco Marcelli, Federico Lucci, Cecilia La Bella, and Carlo Venettacci

The increase in urbanization requires intense energy consumption and causes an increase in emissions from transportation and industrial sources. As a result, a variety of pollutants are released into the atmosphere with negative effects on the health of organisms and ecosystems as well as on human health. In this perspective, coastal areas are considered "hotspots" of environmental contamination since they often host multiple human activities. This issue is particularly dramatic close to important maritime hubs, as a matter of fact overall 25% of the world energy consumption (a major source of pollution) is employed for transport, and over 80% of world trade is carried by sea (Gobbi et al. 2020). During 2019-2020 we carried out a continuous monitoring of particulate matter in a fixed station to understand the sources of air pollution in the northern Latium coastal area. This area has been selected for the presence of industrial activities located in a few kilometers of coast (Piazzolla et al. 2020). The amount and typology of solid particles present in the environment have been assessed by implementing a reliable cost-effective device (Gozzi et al. 2015, 2017) which integrates an optical particle counter and a filtering set-up able to collect particulate matter with dimension > 400 nm (Della Ventura et al. 2017). Filters were periodically removed from the device and recovered microparticles were subjected to microscopic (optical and electron), spectroscopic (IR, Raman), and microchemical (SEM-EDS) characterization. Results were related to the wind speed and direction measured by the Civitavecchia Coastal Environment Monitoring System (Bonamano et al. 2015), allowing an evaluation of the contribution of anthropic (industrial and maritime) activities to the pollution in this area.

Bonamano S., Piermattei V., Madonia A., Mendoza F., Pierattini A., Martellucci R., ... & Marcelli M. (2016). The Civitavecchia Coastal Environment Monitoring System (C-CEMS): a new tool to analyze the conflicts between coastal pressures and sensitivity areas. Ocean Science, 12(1). DOI 10.5194/os-12-87-2016

Della Ventura G., Gozzi F., Marcelli A. (2017) The MIAMI project: design and testing of an IoT lowcost device for mobile monitoring of PM and gaseous pollutants. Superstripe Press, Science Series, 12, 41-44, ISBN 9788866830764

Gobbi G.P., Di Liberto L., Barnaba F. (2020). Impact of port emissions on Eu-regulated and non-regulated air quality indicators: the case of Civitavecchia (Italy). Science of the Total environment, 719. DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.134984

Gozzi, F., Della Ventura, G., Marcelli, A. (2015) Mobile monitoring of particulate matter: State of art and perspectives. Atmospheric Pollution Research, 7, 228-234. DOI 10.1016/j.apr.2015.09.007.

Gozzi F., Della Ventura G., Marcelli A., Lucci F. (2017) Current status of particulate matter pollution in Europe and future perspectives: a review. Journal of Materials and Environmental Science, 8, 1901-1909. ISSN 2028-2508

Piazzolla D., Cafaro V., de Lucia G. A., Mancini E., Scanu S., Bonamano S., ... & Marcelli M. (2020). Microlitter pollution in coastal sediments of the northern Tyrrhenian Sea, Italy: microplastics and fly-ash occurrence and distribution. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 106819. DOI 10.1016/j.ecss.2020.106819

How to cite: Piazzolla, D., Della Ventura, G., Terribili, A., Conte, A., Scanu, S., Bonamano, S., Marcelli, M., Lucci, F., La Bella, C., and Venettacci, C.: Air pollution assessment using a cost-effective device: the case study of the northern Latium coastal area., EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-10223, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-10223, 2021.

Ziyuan Hu, Xiaoxia Sun, and Song Sun

Marine ecosystem health assessments are instrumental in ocean governance and the development and use of oceans and seas, provide an important scientific basis for the protection of marine ecosystems and environment and ecological management, and help us move forward on a range of issues related to the marine environment and resource protection. In this study, we improved the coastal ecosystem health assessment methodology by studying combined traits of the coastal ecosystems such as structure, services, and functions. We performed a number of assessments jointly conducted in different coastal areas in China, analyzing the current status and variation trends of these coastal ecosystems, comparing their key health elements, and investigating major contributing factors to changes in the state of marine ecosystems. The present study provided a scientific basis for the protection of marine ecosystem management by translating monitoring, observation, and research results into information that can be understood easily by policymakers.

How to cite: Hu, Z., Sun, X., and Sun, S.: Ecosystem health assessment in coastal China, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-10608, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-10608, 2021.

Karla Camacho-Cruz, Nestor Rey-Villiers, Diana Medina-Contreras, Paula Gonzalez-Jones, Fernando Arenas-Gonzalez, and Alberto Sanchez-Gonzalez

Concentration and flux of nitrogen in mangrove wetlands and coral reefs are modified by chemical and hydrodynamic mechanisms determined by natural and anthropic factors. Nearby anthropic activities impact ecosystems making them vulnerable, mainly due to nutrient flow increase which modifies biogeochemical cycles and trophic dynamics. Here, spatial-temporal variability of N in three tropical coastal ecosystems under different levels of anthropic pressure were studied; 1) trophic dynamics of mangroves in the Colombian Pacific using stable isotopes (δ13C, δ15N); 2) quantification of δ15N in octocorals from the northwestern region of Cuba as an indicator of wastewater pollution, and 3) determination of the trophic status of coastal and continental sites in the Mexican Caribbean using Karidy’s index and CE-CCA-001-89. In the mangrove food web, a value of 5 ‰ for δ15N was found, principally in systems with modified trophic structures close to tourist and urban centers. In octocorals, δ15N was significantly higher in reefs close to polluted river basins, evidencing a positive and significant correlation with the concentration of fecal and total coliforms, fecal streptococci, heterotrophic and sulfate-reducing bacteria. The nutrients analyzed in the Mexican Caribbean, exceeded the permissible limit for the protection of marine life, with Karidy’s index suggesting in some sites concentrations of nitrates in a mesotrophic and eutrophic state, principally during the months of highest tourist influx. The results confirm the effect and vulnerability of these ecosystems towards anthropic N, which could result in a reduction of ecosystem services and diversity.

How to cite: Camacho-Cruz, K., Rey-Villiers, N., Medina-Contreras, D., Gonzalez-Jones, P., Arenas-Gonzalez, F., and Sanchez-Gonzalez, A.: Use of nitrogen as a tool for the study of the trophic state of vulnerable coastal ecosystems, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-6987, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-6987, 2021.

Alice Madonia and the SeaForest Life Project Team

Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile meadows are considered as the most productive ecosystems of the Mediterranean basin, sequestering and storing significant amount of blue carbon in their rich organic sediments and in their living and non-living biomass and these meadows are identified as a priority habitat type for conservation under the Habitat Directive (Dir 92/43/CEE). Despite the importance of the ecosystem services it provides, this habitat is disappearing at a rate four times as high as that of terrestrial forests, experiencing an alarming reduction due to the impacts of human activities in coastal areas, especially in the north-western side of the Mediterranean Sea. To face this issue, the SeaForest Life project foresees the quantification of carbon deposits and their rate of change related to habitat degradation specifically focusing on the effects caused by boat’s anchors and moorings. The project is realized in the Archipelago of la Maddalena National Park, the Asinara National Park and the Cilento, Vallo di Diano and Alburni National Park, for which ad hoc management plans of mooring are going to be adopted to reduce the impact of this practice on the seagrass meadows. As a first step, an updating of habitat 1120*’s cartography in each of the Marine Protected Areas engaged in the project have been fulfilled, using high definition multispectral imagery. Furthermore, monitoring of the areas with the highest attendance of the anchorages was carried out through the use of medium resolution satellite multi-spectral images using the infrared band, to identify and quantify the degradation and the state of conservation of the P.oceanica meadows present in the investigated areas. The updated cartography has been used to implement the InVEST Coastal Blue Carbon (CBC) which attempts to predict the sequestration, storage and, when degraded, the emissions of carbon by coastal ecosystems, so representing a useful tool for the analysis of the ecological and economic effects of the degradation processes (boats anchoring) and mitigation measures (anchor management plan and eco friendly moorings). Up to now, the InVEST-CBC model has estimated a CO2 loss due to boats anchoring equal to 2300 tCO2/year, using stock and flow data in soil and biomass obtained from the results of the Life Blue Natura project and P. oceanica samples collected in the Cilento National Park. In the future, the results of the model will be improved with data collected in the other two project areas, also through the use of innovative instrumentation. Moreover, the scenarios with the implementation of the mooring management plans will be analyzed in the three study areas. The dataset obtained by the model is being used to define a standard protocol for the estimation of CO2 fixation by P. oceanica meadows in the Mediterranean Sea. Such protocol will be fundamental for the realization of a national IT-based platform for a voluntary based carbon market to sell and acquire the carbon credits generated by the SeaForest Life project activities, to be extended to all the Mediterranean countries and to be scaled up to new protected marine areas.

How to cite: Madonia, A. and the SeaForest Life Project Team: Towards the definition of a standard protocol for the estimation of CO2 fixation by Posidonia oceanica meadows in the Mediterranean Sea (SeaForest Life Project), EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-12611, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-12611, 2021.

Marco Marcelli, Sergio Scanu, Alice Madonia, Simone Bonamano, Giorgio Fersini, and Viviana Piermattei

The expansion of Civitavecchia Hub Port will potentially produce an impact on the adjacent coastal areas which are characterized by the presence of SCIs (Sites of Community Importance IT6000005 northern and IT6000006 southern to the port area) which extend in front of the municipalities of Tarquinia, Civitavecchia and Santa Marinella.
The two SCIs are characterized by priority habitats and species under the Habitat Directive 92/43 / EEC; in particular, they host Posidonia oceanica meadows (Priority habitat 1120 * - Posidonion oceanicae) and coralligenous bioconstructions (Habitat 1170 - Reefs), as well as individuals of Pinna nobilis (Annex IV - Habitat Directive Code 1028) and colonies of Corallium rubrum ( Annex IV - Habitat Directive Code 1001).
Within VIA and VAS procedures, a series of complex activities has been implemented to reduce the potential impacts on the marine environment, leading to the presentation of an innovative ecosystem-based program of mitigation and compensation measures based on the assessment of direct and indirect impacts of construction activities as well as ecosystem services analysis. This new program is based on our project "Ecosystem-based approach applied to the evaluation of compensation and mitigation measures in marine environment: The case study of the Port Hub of Civitavecchia". The project includes for example: a detailed analysis of marine habitats and oceanographic conditions, restoration of equivalent habitats, habitats and species protection systems, actions towards an eco-sustainable use of the environment. The innovation of this approach derives from the quantification of the interventions which is based on the assessment of surfaces damage as well as on the uses affected both directly and indirectly, considering a time interval of ten years for the recovery of the damaged ecosystem functions.

How to cite: Marcelli, M., Scanu, S., Madonia, A., Bonamano, S., Fersini, G., and Piermattei, V.: Ecosystem-based approach towards the sustainable management of coastal engineering: compensation and mitigation measures applied to the Civitavecchia harbour, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-16241, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-16241, 2021.

Shujin Guo and Xiaoxia Sun

Carbon biomass, carbon-to-chlorophyll a ratio (C:Chl a) values and growth rates of phytoplankton cells were studied during four seasonal cruises in 2017 and 2018 in Jiaozhou Bay, China. Water samples were collected from twelve stations, and phytoplankton carbon biomass (phyto-C) was estimated from microscope-measured cell volumes. Phyto-C ranged from 5.05 to 78.52 μg C/L (mean 28.80 μg C/L) in the bay, and it constituted a mean of 38.16% of the total particulate organic carbon in the bay. High phyto-C values always appeared in the northern or northeastern bay. Diatom carbon was predominant during all four cruises. Dinoflagellate carbon contributed much less (<30%) to the total phyto-C, and high values always appeared in the outer bay. The C:Chl a of phytoplankton cells varied from 11.50 to 61.45 (mean 31.66), and high values appeared in the outer bay during all four seasons. The phyto-C was also used to calculate the intrinsic growth rates of phytoplankton cells in the bay, and phytoplankton growth rates ranged from 0.56 to 1.96 day-1; the rate was highest in summer (mean 1.79 day-1), followed by that in fall (mean 1.24 day-1) and spring (mean 1.17 day-1), and the rate was lowest in winter (mean 0.77 day-1). Temperature and silicate concentration were found to be the determining factors of phytoplankton growth rates in the bay. To our knowledge, this study is the first report on phytoplankton carbon biomass and C:Chl a based on water samples in Jiaozhou Bay, and it will provide useful information for studies on carbon-based food web calculations and carbon-based ecosystem models in the bay.

How to cite: Guo, S. and Sun, X.: Carbon biomass, carbon-to-chlorophyll a ratios and growth rates of phytoplankton in Jiaozhou Bay, China, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-9685, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-9685, 2021.