EGU24-7751, updated on 08 Mar 2024
EGU General Assembly 2024
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Innovative technologies and ecosystem functioning measurements supporting knowledge of P. oceanica meadows in the northern Mediterranean Sea

Daniele Piazzolla1, Sergio Scanu1, Francesco Paolo Mancuso2,3, Mar Bosh-Belmar2,3, Simone Bonamano4, Alice Madonia1, Elena Scagnoli4, Mario Francesco Tantillo2,3, Martina Russi2,3, Alessandra Savini5, Giorgio Fersini6, Gianluca Sarà2,3, Giovanni Coppini1, Marco Marcelli1,4, and Viviana Piermattei1
Daniele Piazzolla et al.
  • 1Global Coastal Ocean (GOCO) Division, Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici, Italy (
  • 2Laboratory of Ecology, Department of Earth and Marine Sciences (DiSTeM), University of Palermo, Palermo, 90123, Italy.
  • 3NBFC, National Biodiversity Future Center, Spoke 1, Palermo, 90133, Italy.
  • 4Laboratory of Experimental Oceanology and Marine Ecology, Department of Ecological and Biological sciences DEB, University of Tuscia, Port of Civitavecchia, Civitavecchia, 00053, Italy.
  • 5Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences (DISAT), University of Milano-Bicocca, Milano, 20126, Italy
  • 6Port Authority System of the Central Northern Tyrrhenian Sea, Civitavecchia, 00053, Italy.

Coastal areas host biodiversity-rich and productive marine habitats but are also highly susceptible to human activities. Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile meadows are one of the most important habitats in the coastal areas of the Mediterranean Sea and are considered a key coastal structuring habitat enhancing biodiversity levels. Accurate information about the spatial distribution and functioning of P. oceanica is essential for an effective management of anthropogenic pressures that can minimise, mitigate, or compensate for the impacts produced, to ensure a long-term successful protection of this habitat. We tested, for the first time, an integrated multi-platform approach for mapping the coastal benthic habitat in the Civitavecchia (northern Latium, Italy) coastal area. This approach includes the use of an unmanned platforms, a remotely-operated vehicle, and in situ P. oceanica ecosystem functioning measurements through benthic chambers.

The multi-platform approach allowed us to reconstruct the spatial distribution of different bottom types, as well as the canopy height and coverage of the Posidonia oceanica seagrass. Furthermore, respiration and net primary production rates of P. oceanica and its associated community were assessed.

Our results highlight the significance of multi-platform observation data for a thorough exploration of marine ecosystems, emphasizing their utility in forecasting biogeochemical processes in the marine environment. The integration of spatial and functional information coming from this novel approach may significantly contribute to improve management and conservation action plans on key and vulnerable habitats under the current and future climate change scenarios. This work was performed as part of the RENOVATE project, financed by the Port System Authority of the Northern-Central Tyrrhenian Sea.

How to cite: Piazzolla, D., Scanu, S., Mancuso, F. P., Bosh-Belmar, M., Bonamano, S., Madonia, A., Scagnoli, E., Tantillo, M. F., Russi, M., Savini, A., Fersini, G., Sarà, G., Coppini, G., Marcelli, M., and Piermattei, V.: Innovative technologies and ecosystem functioning measurements supporting knowledge of P. oceanica meadows in the northern Mediterranean Sea, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-7751,, 2024.