OS3.3 | Effects of anthropogenic pressure on marine ecosystems
EDI
Effects of anthropogenic pressure on marine ecosystems
Convener: Marco Marcelli | Co-conveners: Xiaoxia Sun, Daniele PiazzollaECSECS
Orals
| Thu, 18 Apr, 16:15–17:57 (CEST)
 
Room 1.61/62
Posters on site
| Attendance Thu, 18 Apr, 10:45–12:30 (CEST) | Display Thu, 18 Apr, 08:30–12:30
 
Hall X4
Orals |
Thu, 16:15
Thu, 10:45
Due to the growing pressures on marine resources and the ecosystem services demand, the interest of the scientific and political world is moving to ensure marine ecosystems conservation and environmental sustainable development providing policies to meet the UN 2030 Agenda Goal 14 to “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development”.
To act against the decline of ocean health and to create a framework of stakeholders, the UN proposed the establishment of the “Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development” able to bring regional knowledge and priorities together in an international action plan. Anthropogenic activities could have an impact on the marine environment and affect the ecosystem equilibrium.
The marine environment is a dynamic, sensitive and fragile area in which it is advantageous to apply new methodologies and observing methods to increase the quantity and quality of the data. Since ocean dynamics affect the dispersion of pollutants such as chemicals, plastics, noise and invasive species, the ecosystem status should be analyzed through the study of abiotic variables distribution at a proper spatio-temporal scale. To analyze the ocean environmental quality, a large amount of data obtained by global observation systems (e.g. GOOS, EMODNET) is needed, which requires the development of cost-effective technologies for integrated observing systems and to support the study of, e.g., biological variables.
The session focuses on marine ecosystems, technological developments for the study of abiotic and biotic factors, with a focus on anthropogenic impacts. Multidisciplinary approaches using data coming from multiple sources are encouraged. Integration of mathematical models, and in-situ and remote observations are suggested to develop methods, technologies and best practices to maintain, restore and monitor biodiversity and to guarantee sustainable use of marine resources. The following topics will be discussed: effects of pollution on biota considering their natural and anthropogenic sources; global change effects on marine ecosystem; new technology development; advanced methods for collection, data processing, and information extraction; benthic and pelagic community dynamics; economic evaluation of natural capital, and marine ecosystem restoration initiatives.

Session assets

Orals: Thu, 18 Apr | Room 1.61/62

Chairpersons: Marco Marcelli, Xiaoxia Sun, Daniele Piazzolla
16:15–16:25
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EGU24-9109
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ECS
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On-site presentation
Damiano Baldan, Fabrizio Gianni, Marco Reale, and Vinko Bandelj

Seagrasses meadows represent a key habitat of the Mediterranean Sea, since they host a significant biodiversity. Projected changes in seagrasses distributions driven, for instance, by climate change, could dramatically alter the structure of the Mediterranean seascape, with relevant cascading effects on the biodiversity of the basin. In this work, first we combined post-processed COPERNICUS-CMEMS physical and biogeochemical variables and seagrasses occurrences from the Ocean Biodiversity Information System (OBIS) to setup Species Distribution Models (SDMs) for Posidonia Oceanica and Cymodocea nodosa: two dominant mediterranean seagrasses. Then, future changes in their distribution along the 21st century using high resolution physical and biogeochemical projections under two Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP), namely 4.5 and 8.5, have been assessed. In particular, the future changes in the range contraction and distances between suitable habitat patches have been estimated. A significant change in both quantities was detected. The potential implication of an increased fragmentation for metapopulations and metacommunities relying on this habitat is discussed.

How to cite: Baldan, D., Gianni, F., Reale, M., and Bandelj, V.: Climate change fragments Mediterranean seagrasses landscapes: a regional analysis, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-9109, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-9109, 2024.

16:25–16:35
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EGU24-1000
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ECS
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On-site presentation
Luca Marino, Luca Fallati, Andrea Giulia Varzi, Giorgio Fersini, Daniele Piazzolla, Sergio Scanu, Marco Marcelli, and Alessandra Savini

Marine restoration projects are becoming increasingly important worldwide to mitigate human-driven impacts on marine ecosystems. Nonetheless, their success rate is highly fluctuating and depends upon a number of variables, such as bio-ecological features of the involved species and the geospatial and geomorphological drivers proper to the habitat concerned. Geospatial and geomorphological variables are undoubtedly key factors in controlling benthic species’ distribution; therefore, an accurate analysis of the latter is of paramount importance to detect the most suitable sites for the restoration efforts. The National RENOVATE project (ecosystemic appRoach to the EvaluatioN and testing of cOmpensation and mitigation actions in the marine enVironment: the cAse of the civiTavEcchia harbuor), coordinated by CMCC (Mediterranean Centre for the study of Climate Changes) and funded by “AdSP (Autorità di Sistema Portuale) of the north-central Tyrrhenian Sea”, is performing an integrated methodology for the compensation of Mediterranean marine ecosystems, damaged by anthropogenic impacts, in selected areas located offshore Civitavecchia harbor, in the central Mediterranean sea. In the context of this project, our work focused on providing high-resolution habitat mapping of a Posidonia oceanica meadow, along with the detection of suitable sites for implementing restoration actions. Geospatial and geomorphometric analyses were applied to the available dataset (i.e. multibeam bathymetry and acoustic backscatter) in addition to design a semi-automatic approach, by using Object-Based Image Analysis (OBIA) techniques, to classify the detected morph-acoustic facies. OBIA techniques consist of two sequential steps: (1) image segmentation into different meaningful image-objects, according to the contextual and spectral characteristics of the pixels composing them; (2) semi-automatic classification on the base of spectral, spatial and contextual characteristics of the image-objects. We developed a workflow to analyze multibeam bathymetry and side scan sonar backscatter intensity data specifically referred to the determination of Posidonia oceanica meadow extent, and to the detection of all sedimentary pockets within the meadow that appeared to be suitable for restoration actions (according to a set of pre-defined parameters). We defined OBIA rulesets using the eCognition® 10.3 software from Trimble on a multi-scale and multi-layer level, combining and integrating the original dataset and terrain variables obtained from geomorphometric analyses. Such rulesets comprised the application of deep learning algorithms to generate our final classification. We validated our results by comparing them with prior
knowledge of the study site (provided by researchers of the Università della Tuscia) and by manual interpretation and classification performed using the software ArcMap 10.8.
The methodological approach here presented and the associated rulesets, have been designed in order to be applied (with the proper case-specific precautions) to the planning phase of any Posidonia oceanica meadow restoration project, and represent a new advance in the field of ecosystem management and restoration.

How to cite: Marino, L., Fallati, L., Varzi, A. G., Fersini, G., Piazzolla, D., Scanu, S., Marcelli, M., and Savini, A.: Semi-automatic geospatial modeling supporting restoration actions on a Posidonia oceanica meadow offshore Civitavecchia (eastern Tyrrhenian margin, Mediterranean Sea) using Object-Based Image Analysis on acoustic remote sensing data, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-1000, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-1000, 2024.

16:35–16:45
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EGU24-2813
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ECS
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On-site presentation
Jianzhou Xu, Ruoxuan Zhao, Ao Liu, Liya Li, Shuimei Li, Kaijie Wu, and Yanan Di

Antibiotics are emerging contaminants of concern worldwide, especially in coastal areas. However, no conclusion can confirm their ecotoxic effects based on popular employed biomarkers. Based on our previous exploration on the histopathological changes on marine model organism-marine mussels, convincing results indicated sulfamethoxazole (SMX) can induce tissue damage but the examination procedure was labor- and time-consuming. In this study, a systematic working flow of histopathological assessment was developed, including qualitative, semi-quantitative, quantitative and artificial intelligence (AI)-based quantitative methods, forming the computational pathology on functional tissues in marine mussels. The exposure of mussels to a serial concentration of SMX was conducted, gill and digestive gland of mussels were stained by H&E to perform the developed working flow. The results confirmed that SMX exposure indeed cause significant histopathological alterations in both tissues. The manual semi-quantitative, quantitative and AI-based quantitative indicators all showed a well dose-response relationship with SMX exposure. In particular, AI-based quantitative methods can identify and segment biological pathological images, and screen quantitative pathological indicators and significantly reduce the time-cost. This study confirmed the valuable application of quantitative and AI-based quantitative histopathological indicators in marine ecotoxicology, and promotes the study of computational pathology of marine organisms in emerging marine pollutants.

How to cite: Xu, J., Zhao, R., Liu, A., Li, L., Li, S., Wu, K., and Di, Y.: Development of artificial intelligence based computational pathology to assess the histopathological toxicity of antibiotics to marine mussels, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-2813, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-2813, 2024.

16:45–16:55
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EGU24-1815
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ECS
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Virtual presentation
Byeongyong Park, Boongho Cho, Jaemin Cho, Seungho Kim, and Tae Won Kim

Plastic contamination is a global pervasive issue, extending from coastal areas and open oceans to polar regions and even the deep sea. Microplastic contamination in hydrothermal vents, which are known for their high biodiversity even under their extreme conditions, has remained largely unexplored. Here, we present, for the first time, microplastic pollution in a deep-sea hydrothermal vent at one of the pristine biodiversity hotspots—the Central Indian Ridge. Not only the environment, (seawater: 2.08 ± 1.04 MPs/L, surface sediments: 0.57 ± 0.19 MP/g) but also all six major benthic species investigated were polluted by microplastics.  Microplastics mainly consisted of polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate, and polystyrene fragments ≤ 100 µm, and were characterized as being either transparent or white in color. Remarkably, bioaccumulation and even biomagnification of microplastics were observed in the top predators of the ecosystem, such as squat lobsters (14.25 ± 4.65 MPs/individual) and vent crabs (14.00 ± 2.16 MPs/individual) since they contained more microplastics than animals at  lower trophic levels (e.g. mussels and snails, 1.75 ~ 6 average MPs/individuals). These findings reveal microplastic contamination of an ecosystem in a hydrothermal vent, thereby suggesting that their accumulation and magnification can occur in top-level animals even within remote and extreme environments.

How to cite: Park, B., Cho, B., Cho, J., Kim, S., and Kim, T. W.: Microplastic Contamination of a Benthic Ecosystem in a Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vent, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-1815, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-1815, 2024.

16:55–17:05
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EGU24-4837
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On-site presentation
Shamik Dasgupta, Xiaotong Peng, Hongzhou Xu, Dawei Wang, Hengchao Xu, Kaiwen Ta, Xikun Song, and Mengran Du

Plastic pollution is at the forefront of environmental problems, and has invaded every sphere on Earth. We describe the abundance, distribution, transport pathways and mechanisms, fate and ecological impacts of plastics in the South China Sea (SCS), emphasizing on the deep seafloor microplastics and plastics. We document presence of plastics, primarily based on more than 100 dives in manned submersibles, backed-up by in-depth analysis of dive track videos and images from all locations, providing the first distribution maps of microplastic and plastics on the bottom of the SCS. Abundance of large plastics have been observed to be highest at typical V-shaped geomorphological units, such as canyons, where hydrodynamic conditions are stronger. However, high concentrations of microplastics occur commonly in the sediments of coastal zones. Sources and transportation mechanism of microplastics and plastics in the SCS are thus distinctly different from each other. While a vast majority of microplastics is possibly transported through riverine inputs, most of plastics have a sea-based origin and are discarded from fishing boats, entertainment vessels, and merchant ships. Apart from surface currents, deep-water, seasonal currents, as well as gravity flow, facilitate the transport of marine plastics to deep seafloor sediments. We present two types of models for the transportation of microplastics and plastics in SCS, respectively. We further elucidate the ecosystem which has emerged as a new hot spot with the plastics in SCS. Both large plastics and microplastics additionally act as vectors of chemical pollutants, resulting in ecotoxicological damages. Interaction of biota with deep-sea plastics has been observed and documented in terms of ingestion, entanglement, or proximity, resulting in potential negative effects. The extent of plastic pollution in the SCS is at an alarming level. Therefore, strengthened mitigation procedures, reuse and recycling structures, and waste water management have to be urgently incorporated in National Action Plans to control the burden of plastics entering the SCS. 

How to cite: Dasgupta, S., Peng, X., Xu, H., Wang, D., Xu, H., Ta, K., Song, X., and Du, M.: Plastic pollution in deep seafloor of the South China Sea, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-4837, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-4837, 2024.

17:05–17:15
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EGU24-3378
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ECS
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On-site presentation
Chao Zhang, Haoyu Jin, Thomas Mock, and Huiwang Gao

In coastal seas with relatively abundant macronutrients and trace metals, the role of atmospheric deposition and river runoff in biological DOP utilization is not well understood. Here, we address this knowledge gap by combining microcosm experiments with a global approach considering the relationship between the activity of alkaline phosphatases and changes in phytoplankton biomass in relation to the concentration of dissolved inorganic phosphorus (DIP). Our results suggest that the addition of aerosols and riverine water stimulate the biological utilization of DOP in coastal seas primarily by depleting DIP due to increasing nitrogen concentrations, which enhances phytoplankton growth. This “Anthropogenic Nitrogen Pump” was therefore identified to make DOP an important source of phosphorus for phytoplankton in coastal seas but only when the ratio of chlorophyll a to DIP [Log10 (Chl a / DIP)] is larger than 1.20. Our study therefore suggests that nitrogen input through atmospheric and riverine sources might contribute to the phosphorus cycle in coastal seas.

How to cite: Zhang, C., Jin, H., Mock, T., and Gao, H.: Atmospheric deposition and river runoff stimulate the utilization of dissolved organic phosphorus in coastal seas, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-3378, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-3378, 2024.

17:15–17:25
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EGU24-17459
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ECS
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On-site presentation
Amy Shurety, Eoin O'Gorman, Murray Thompson, and Elena Couce

Climate change and commercial fishing are prominent contributors to global change and can cause gradients in numerous biotic and abiotic variables, all of which can alter food web dynamics. This study aimed to predict future northeast Atlantic marine food webs based on allometric foraging behaviour. More than one thousand food webs from 1992 to 2016 spanning 2035 km2 were modelled and calibrated based on a novel empirical dietary database containing >400,000 individual predator stomachs. A suite of flow and structural ecological metrics, such as connectance, mean trophic level, redundancy, and total energy flux, were calculated from the food web models, which due to their systemic nature can be used to infer ecological resilience of northeast Atlantic ecosystems. The relationship between the suite of ecological metrics, sea surface temperature and mean yearly fishing effort were tested using Bayesian Additive Regression Tree Models. Spatial and temporal variation was found in both structural and flow-based metrics providing evidence that climate change and commercial fishing are potential drivers of northeast Atlantic food web dynamics and in turn ecosystem resilience. For example, redundancy in trophic interactions, which provides buffering capacity to ecosystems in the face of stress, was found to increase with sea surface temperature. A primary goal is to provide robust understanding of food web structure and ecological resilience across multiple scales, helping to highlight vulnerable systems, communities, and species across the northeast Atlantic. This project has the potential to provide the scientific advice needed for climate change and sustainable fisheries management to be effective despite the uncertainty of global change.

How to cite: Shurety, A., O'Gorman, E., Thompson, M., and Couce, E.: Modeling northeast Atlantic marine food webs under global change scenarios., EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-17459, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-17459, 2024.

17:25–17:35
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EGU24-19585
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ECS
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On-site presentation
Patrick Keith, Simeon Hill, Lucía López-López, Benjamin Rosenbaum, Ryan Saunders, Geraint Tarling, and Eoin O'Gorman

A primary response of many marine ectotherms to warming is a reduction in body size, to lower the metabolic costs associated with higher temperatures. The impact of such changes on ecosystem dynamics and stability will depend on the resulting changes to community size-structure, but few studies have investigated how temperature affects the relative size of predators and their prey in natural systems. We utilised >3,700 prey size measurements from ten Southern Ocean lanternfish species sampled across >10° of latitude to investigate how temperature influences predator-prey size relationships and size-selective feeding. As temperature increased, predators became closer in size to their prey, driven primarily by a decline in predator size and an increase in the relative abundance of intermediate-sized prey. The potential implications of these changes include reduced top-down control of prey populations and a reduction in the diversity of predator-prey interactions. Both of these factors should reduce the stability of community dynamics and ecosystem resistance to perturbations.

How to cite: Keith, P., Hill, S., López-López, L., Rosenbaum, B., Saunders, R., Tarling, G., and O'Gorman, E.: Temperature alters the size selectivity of Southern Ocean fish, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-19585, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-19585, 2024.

17:35–17:45
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EGU24-19096
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ECS
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On-site presentation
Junjie Wang, Xiaochen Liu, Arthur Beusen, and Jack Middelburg

Excessive nitrate in surface waters deteriorates water quality and threatens human health. Human activities have caused increased nitrate concentrations in global surface waters over the past 50 years. An assessment of the long-term trajectory of surface-water nitrate exposure to world populations and associated potential health risks is imperative but lacking. Here, we used global spatially explicit data on surface-water nitrate concentrations and population density simulated by the consistent integrated assessment model, in combination with thresholds for various health risks compiled from epidemiological studies, to quantify the long-term changes in surface-water nitrate exposure to world populations at multiple spatial scales. During 1970-2010, global populations potentially affected by acute health risks associated with surface-water nitrate exposure increased from 6 to 60 million persons per year, while populations at potential chronic health risks increased from 169 to 1361 million persons per year. Potential acute risks increasingly affected Asian countries. Populations potentially affected by chronic risks shifted from dominance by high-income countries (in Europe and North America) to middle-income countries (in Asia and Africa). To mitigate adverse health effects associated with surface-water nitrate exposure, anthropogenic nitrogen inputs to natural environments should be drastically reduced. Moreover, international and national standards of maximum nitrate contamination may need to be lowered. By leveraging biogeochemical, socio-economic, and epidemiological knowledge from different disciplines, this novel assessment evaluates the role of humans in driving environmental changes and environmental effects on humans in a consistent manner.

How to cite: Wang, J., Liu, X., Beusen, A., and Middelburg, J.: Surface-water nitrate exposure to world populations has expanded and intensified during 1970-2010, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-19096, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-19096, 2024.

17:45–17:55
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EGU24-3099
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On-site presentation
Giovanni Quattrocchi, Emil Christensen, Matteo Sinerchia, Stefano Marras, Andrea Cucco, Paolo Domenici, and Jane W. Behrens

The aerobic metabolic scope (AMS) of marine ectotherms, a measure of their energetic potential in relation to environmental conditions, can be adopted as a metric to support the prediction of their habitat distribution through time and space.

Considering that climate change will exacerbate the negative effects associated with the introduction of non-indigenous species in marine ecosystems, the prediction of their thermal habitat suitability is a central task in ecology and conservation.

In this context we proposed a methodology to (i) infer the suboptimal AMS of an invader and (ii) to map its suitable thermal habitat during the past decades and in a global warming scenario. Specifically, we combined sightings records, known physiological models of aerobic performance and sea surface temperatures to determining their effects on the AMS of the fish.

The methodology has been tested in the Baltic Sea that is currently displaying the highest increase in sea surface temperature of the world’s large marine ecosystems and that hosts the invasive round goby (Neogobius melanostomus), a fish of Ponto-Caspian origin. As the most widely dispersed invasive fish in the world this species has produced vast ecological impacts in colonized environments including the alteration of benthic invertebrate composition through predation and competition with native fish for food, shelter, and spawning grounds. Round goby, introduced to the Baltic Sea about 30 years ago, is well established in the southern and central parts of the basin but is still absent, aside from sporadic observations, from the north and coldest areas of this region. Its distribution is likely to expand beyond the current cold boundaries due to predicted climate change. However, the proportion of the currently uninvaded areas of the Baltic Sea that will become suitable thermal habitat for round goby, and how fast it can be expected to occur, remain uncertain.

Via AMS mapping, we described changes in the round goby thermal habitat suitability during the past 3 decades and for climatic predictions (until 2100), showing that the favourable thermal habitat in the Baltic Sea has increased during the past 32 years and will continue to do so considering the current climate models predictions. Notably, although the predicted new thermal conditions do not cause any reduction in the AMS of round goby populations, the wintertime cold ranges are likely expected to preserve substantial areas from invasion.

The results of this research are intended to guide future monitoring programs, increasing the chance to detect this invader in novel areas, and to enhance the reliability of the projected changes in ecological models that incorporate the thermal safety margins of native and non-indigenous species.

How to cite: Quattrocchi, G., Christensen, E., Sinerchia, M., Marras, S., Cucco, A., Domenici, P., and Behrens, J. W.: Aerobic scope mapping of an invasive fish species in a global warming scenario, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-3099, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-3099, 2024.

17:55–17:57

Posters on site: Thu, 18 Apr, 10:45–12:30 | Hall X4

Display time: Thu, 18 Apr 08:30–Thu, 18 Apr 12:30
Chairpersons: Marco Marcelli, Xiaoxia Sun, Daniele Piazzolla
X4.58
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EGU24-16247
Marco Marcelli, Simone Bonamano, Mar Bosch-Belmar, Giorgio Fersini, Giulia Ceccherelli, Giovanni Coppini, Giuseppe Andrea De Lucia, Paola Del Negro, Annalisa Falace, Ivan Federico, Alice Madonia, Francesco Paolo Mancuso, Lorenzo Mentaschi, Daniele Piazzolla, Nadia Pinardi, Gianluca Sarà, Alessandra Savini, Sergio Scanu, Benedetta Torelli, and Viviana Piermattei

The coastal zone provides opportunities for a variety of users which can affect the availability of space and the conservation of important habitats. Coastal zone also represents the area of both anthropic and natural inputs through rivers, which can be an important pressure due to the potential introduction of pollutants and the increasing flooding. Latium coast represents and important area for the presence of the Tiber river which affect a big portion of the region. Moreover, this area is an important site for big coastal infrastructures that potentially produce direct and indirect impacts on marine ecosystems, particularly Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadows, rocky and algal reefs. This work shows an integrated and advanced observing system, including autonomous platforms, cost-effective technologies and numerical modeling, applied to the study of the interaction between anthropic pressures and natural resources in order to realize a Digital Twin of the Ocean of this coastal area toward the implementation of nature based solutions.

How to cite: Marcelli, M., Bonamano, S., Bosch-Belmar, M., Fersini, G., Ceccherelli, G., Coppini, G., De Lucia, G. A., Del Negro, P., Falace, A., Federico, I., Madonia, A., Mancuso, F. P., Mentaschi, L., Piazzolla, D., Pinardi, N., Sarà, G., Savini, A., Scanu, S., Torelli, B., and Piermattei, V.: An integrated and sustainable observing system for the implementation of a Coastal Digital Twin of the Ocean, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-16247, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-16247, 2024.

X4.59
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EGU24-9420
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ECS
Juan Francisco Martinez Osuna, Viviana Piermattei, and Antonio De Luca

The Mediterranean Sea is a recognized area of concern considering climate change impacts. Coastal zones are particularly vulnerable to the influences of sea level variations caused by climate variability. Estuaries, which are crucial ecosystems, represent challenges areas which can be affected from various anthropogenic pressures and the effects of climate change.

Within the research community, there is a growing focus on the risks associated with sea level rise (SLR). The threat of storm-related flooding poses a significant danger to coastal areas, leading to the loss of marine habitats and ecosystems. Recent experiences also have shown that the combination of high-intensity hurricanes and increased sea levels has resulted in numerous fatalities along the coast.

A big lack of data and knowledge about coastal observations, particularly in developing countries, persists due to the difficulty in obtaining affordable and user-friendly instrumentation. To address these challenges, there is a need to develop cost effective, easily accessible technologies that can be integrated into different platforms. These technologies would enhance monitoring capabilities, particularly in terms of spatial resolution, along rivers and coastal zones. By doing so, we can greatly improve our understanding of storm surges, extreme events, and their impacts on transitional areas. Creating a practical tool as part of an early warning system would provide timely information on physical conditions and biological variables, aiding in effective decision-making and mitigation efforts.

How to cite: Martinez Osuna, J. F., Piermattei, V., and De Luca, A.: Development of low-cost technologies applied to the study of marine ecosystems., EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-9420, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-9420, 2024.

X4.60
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EGU24-11618
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ECS
Nicola Madonia, Lavinio Gualdesi, Viviana Piermattei, and Marco Marcelli

Our project addresses the growing demand for extended oceanographic observation network. We are developing an innovative and affordable Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV), named Jolly Oscar, that incorporates artificial intelligence for path determination and destination determination based on marine meteorological conditions. AUVs play a crucial role in marine monitoring by enabling independent exploration of areas that are difficult to access by other platforms. The goal of our approach aims to supply a cost-effective solution compared to existing options, allowing for the acquisition of a fleet of Jolly Oscar vehicles to enhance data collection. Simultaneous data gathering by multiple AUVs not only improves efficiency but also supplies a deeper understanding of marine phenomena. This cost-effective approach enables efficient and extensive spatial coverage, making easier the rapid collection of oceanographic data. Jolly Oscar can be equipped with a different array of interchangeable instrumental packages, including sensors for Conductivity-Temperature-Depth (CTD) and pH, chlorophyll fluorescence, turbidity, passive (hydrophone) and active (side-scan sonar or multibeam sonar) acoustic systems, Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP). This versatility is crucial for gathering detailed oceanographic data which are essential for feeding numerical models, deepening our understanding of marine ecosystems, and checking ongoing environmental changes. By developing a cost-effective solution, Jolly Oscar aims to supply broader access to advanced oceanographic exploration. This inclusivity aims to encourage participation and involvement from the scientific community, allowing more researchers to use these technologically advanced tools. This collaborative approach contributes to the global effort of monitoring and understanding the intricate dynamics of our oceans, which is crucial for environmental conservation and responsible marine management.

How to cite: Madonia, N., Gualdesi, L., Piermattei, V., and Marcelli, M.: Diving into the Future: Advanced Ocean Observation with Cost-Effective AI-Enhanced Autonomous Underwater Vehicles, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-11618, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-11618, 2024.

X4.61
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EGU24-17902
Alice Madonia, Swati Suman, Viviana Piermattei, Marco Marcelli, and Riccardo Valentini

To face the need of mitigation and adaptation measures in order to reduce climate change impacts and improve the robustness of climate projections it is necessary to implement long-term and low-cost observing systems.

One of the main problem is the acquisition of in situ optical data, fundamental to understand the functioning of natural ecosystems since light is the primary source of energy for both terrestrial and marine life. In fact, light directly affects the photosynthetic processes and its availability represents a key factor for primary production.

In this context, there is a lack of spectro-radiometric and PAR measures in the marine environment to retrieve key bio-optical variables for the validation of remote sensing observations, providing useful information on the effects of anthropogenic activities and climate change.

Commercial high-performance spectrometers are characterized by high costs thus limiting the acquisition of a great amount of data for remote sensing and numerical models validation. In the last decades, a big effort was dedicated to the development of miniaturized and autonomous systems to reduce the costs of both land and marine observations while maintaining adequate performance and significant data quality.

In this work we present the development of a new low-cost multichannel spectrometer designed and developed as a fast, accurate and effective device for spectral response monitoring.

To optimise the selection of the optical components and to assess the performance of the developed system, a series of experimental tests were performed both in laboratory and in field. This work shows the results of the developed technology and its applications.

How to cite: Madonia, A., Suman, S., Piermattei, V., Marcelli, M., and Valentini, R.: Development of a new low-cost multispectral radiometer for land and marine applications, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-17902, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-17902, 2024.

X4.62
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EGU24-18582
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ECS
Fabrizio Varini, Alice Madonia, Sergio Scanu, Viviana Piermattei, and Marco Marcelli

In the context of international guidelines for the protection and conservation of biodiversity in natural environments, the assessment of the effects of human pressure on marine ecosystems assumes a key role. The scientific community has recognised Macroalgae and marine phanerogams as useful bioindicators, thanks to their considerable biomass, permanence, spectral retrieval and ease of identification. Remote sensing technology provides spatially synoptic and near real-time measurements that can be effectively used to detect pollution phenomena. However, remote sensing techniques, especially if applied in coastal areas, need correction and validation through in situ data collection.

In the framework of the STOPP project “Strumenti e Tecniche di Osservazione della Terra in Prossimità e Persistenza” funded by Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI), one of the main goals is the use of innovative aerial platforms, equipped with multispectral sensors, to monitor the impacts of anthropogenic pollution on benthic coastal marine ecosystems.

In this work, we present the advances of the experimental activities aimed at analyzing the changes of the spectral signatures in response to different pollutant exposures in laboratory-controlled conditions, identifying the optimized protocol to detect the "target wavelengths" on seagrasses and macroalgae species. These results are useful for evaluating the feasibility of an innovative methodology for monitoring and mapping marine submerged vegetation through remote sensing.

How to cite: Varini, F., Madonia, A., Scanu, S., Piermattei, V., and Marcelli, M.: Spectral signatures of submerged vegetation for remote sensing mapping and benthic coastal marine ecosystem quality assessment, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-18582, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-18582, 2024.

X4.63
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EGU24-7751
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ECS
Daniele Piazzolla, Sergio Scanu, Francesco Paolo Mancuso, Mar Bosh-Belmar, Simone Bonamano, Alice Madonia, Elena Scagnoli, Mario Francesco Tantillo, Martina Russi, Alessandra Savini, Giorgio Fersini, Gianluca Sarà, Giovanni Coppini, Marco Marcelli, and Viviana Piermattei

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, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-7751, 2024.

X4.64
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EGU24-8288
Simone Bonamano, Mar Bosch-Belmar, Daniele Piazzolla, Ivan Federico, Francesco Paolo Mancuso, Sergio Scanu, Alice Madonia, Salvatore Causio, Nicholas Biocca, Mario Francesco Tantillo, Martina Russi, Giorgio Fersini, Viviana Piermattei, Giovanni Coppini, and Gianluca Sarà

The potential impacts of climate-related factors (e.g., heatwaves, temperature spikes) and local human stressors (e.g., dredging) on vulnerable and protected habitats in the Mediterranean coastal marine environment can be comprehensively assessed using an innovative predictive approach. This method integrates results from numerical models and species-specific stressor tolerance curves and thresholds derived from dedicated laboratory experiments. Focusing on the endemic Mediterranean Posidonia oceanica and coralligenous habitats near the port of Civitavecchia on the western coast of Italy, we analyzed the potential disturbance caused by the occurrence of interacting stressors, increasing temperature and turbidity. A new composite index was developed to evaluate potential effects, considering findings from hydrodynamic and sediment transport models, as well as the temperature and turbidity tolerance of the studied habitats. Lower index values indicate a higher risk of habitat regression due to global warming or unsustainable coastal activities (in the absence of mitigation measures, such as an Early Warning System, EWS).

Within the Renovate project, adopting an ecosystem approach for compensation and mitigation actions in the coastal marine environment, the new index was applied to assess the effects of dredging activities for the expansion of the port of Civitavecchia. Additionally, it was used to distinguish impacts on the same habitats caused by heatwaves affecting this coastal stretch. This index will contribute to the development of EWS and the formulation and implementation of risk assessment and management plans in coastal areas.

How to cite: Bonamano, S., Bosch-Belmar, M., Piazzolla, D., Federico, I., Mancuso, F. P., Scanu, S., Madonia, A., Causio, S., Biocca, N., Tantillo, M. F., Russi, M., Fersini, G., Piermattei, V., Coppini, G., and Sarà, G.: A new predictive approach for assessing local human and climate change stressors on coastal marine ecosystems., EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-8288, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-8288, 2024.

X4.65
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EGU24-7596
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ECS
Naoki Saito, Shinichiro Yano, Atsushi Suzuki, and Hiroko Kamoshida

In deep-sea mining, understanding genetic connectivity through larval dispersal can be the basis for regional environmental management plans. This study conducted larval dispersal simulations for seamounts in the Northwest Pacific where potential mineral resources, cobalt-rich crusts, are distributed. A total of 19 seamounts were selected for simulation within a 1000 x 1000 km2 area around seamounts where contracted areas for exploration of cobalt-rich crusts were established by the International Seabed Authority. The pelagic larval duration was assumed to be 97 days, which is the average for deep-sea species (Hilário et al., 2015, Front. Mar. Sci.). Two-dimensional dispersions were calculated at a depth of 900 m just above the seamount summits. Flow velocity data were obtained from the ocean model JCOPE2M. The simulation results showed that seamounts with contracted areas for exploration were divided into separate clusters in the larval dispersal network. Seamounts without contracted areas served as sources or sinks of larvae to seamounts with contracted areas. These results may provide fundamental insights for effective environmental management based on interactions among seamount populations.

How to cite: Saito, N., Yano, S., Suzuki, A., and Kamoshida, H.: Simulation of larval dispersal between seamounts for regional environmental management plans of deep-sea mining, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-7596, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-7596, 2024.

X4.66
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EGU24-9562
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ECS
Dani Varghese, Viviana Piermattei, Alice Madonia, and Marco Marcelli

Chlorophyll and suspended sediments are the main indicators of the marine ecosystem’s bio-optical properties. Chlorophyll is directly connected with primary productivity, while the suspended sediments are associated with water quality; both factors are influenced by climate change. The present research is mainly focused on testing the capability of Sentinel-2 on estimating the Tiber River driven spatial dynamics of chlorophyll and suspended sediment. The present research also aims to identify suitable methods for estimating chlorophyll and suspended sediment levels in the Tyrrhenian coastal ocean and seas. Algorithms including SNAP-bound C2RCC-Nets, C2X-Nets, C2X-COMPLEX-Nets, and ACOLITE-bound OC2, OC3, SPM_Nechad2010 and SPM_Nechad2016 algorithms were applied to estimate the dynamic distribution of chlorophyll and suspended sediment in the Tyrrhenian region. C2RCC-Nets outperformed all other and a statistically significant positive correlation observed with in situ-derived chlorophyll and suspended sediment, with coefficients of 0.903 and 0.966, respectively. Additionally, a positive seasonal spatial correlation was estimated between chlorophyll and suspended sediments, indicating that Tiber River discharge have positive impacts by accelerating the chlorophyll level on the Tyrrhenian coastline compared to the negative trend observed in the Mediterranean region.

  • Keywords: Sentinel-2, C2RCC, chlorophyll, Suspended sediments, Tiber River, Tyrrhenian region.

How to cite: Varghese, D., Piermattei, V., Madonia, A., and Marcelli, M.: Unveiling Tiber River's Influence on the Tyrrhenian Coastal Ocean and Marine Bio-Optical Properties with Sentinel-2, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-9562, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-9562, 2024.

X4.67
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EGU24-16349
Areti Balkoni, Wolfgang zu Castell, Karen H. Wiltshire, Maarten Boersma, and Hannah Zoller

Human activities, such as global warming and nutrient pollution, are posing significant threats to the ecological interactions and biodiversity in aquatic environments [1]. The German Bight, a highly dynamic coastal region of the North Sea, has been subject to considerable warming and nutrient fluctuations over recent decades. These changes have had profound impacts on the plankton communities in this area, leading to a swift reorganization of both phyto- [2] and zooplankton functional structures [3].

While the effects of these changes on individual phyto- and zooplankton levels have been well-documented, our understanding of how plankton interactions respond to these environmental stressors remains limited. In this study, we hypothesize that the synergy of warming and nutrient limitation will alter plankton network interactions, resulting in a shift towards consumers being controlled by resources.

We approach this hypothesis from the perspective of Gunderson and Holling’s adaptive cycle metaphor [4]. The metaphor describes ecosystem development as alternating phases of stability and reorganization, being shaped by three systemic properties: the system’s potential available for future change, the connectedness among its internal variables, and its resilience in the light of perturbations.

For the quantification of the adaptive cycle, we use a method developed by zu Castell and Schrenk [5,6]. Based on the most comprehensive timeseries available in marine environments, we infer a dynamic network of information transfer, which allows us to study the evolving interaction pattern between phyto-and zooplankton. We discuss this pattern in the context of the adaptive cycle phases and alternative measures of system resilience.

To our knowledge, our study is the first to provide a holistic analysis of plankton network interactions in marine environments, considering both phyto- and zooplankton species. This approach offers a deeper understanding of how human-induced impacts affect the foundation of marine food webs.

 

[1] E. Merz, E. Saberski, L. J. Gilarranz, P. D. F. Isles, G. Sugihara, C. Berger, and F. Pomati, Disruption of ecological networks in lakes by climate change and nutrient fluctuations, Nature Climate Change (2023).

[2] J. Di Pane, K. H. Wiltshire, M. McLean, M. Boersma, and C. L. Meunier, Environmentally induced functional shifts in phytoplankton and their potential consequences for ecosystem functioning. Global Change Biology, 28, 2804–2819 (2022).

[3] M. M. Deschamps, M. Boersma, C. L. Meunier, I. V. Kirstein, K. H. Wiltshire, and J. Di Pane, Major shift in the copepod functional community of the southern North Sea and potential environmental drivers. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 0, 1–13 (2023).

[4] L. H. Gunderson and C. S. Holling. Panarchy: understanding transformations in human and natural systems (Island, Washington, D.C., 2002).

[5] W. zu Castell, and H. Schrenk, Computing the adaptive cycle, Scientific Reports 2020(10):18175 (2020).

[6] H. Schrenk, C. Garcia-Perez, N. Schreiber, and W. zu Castell, QtAC: an R-package for analyzing complex systems development in the framework of the adaptive cycle metaphor, Ecological Modelling 466:109860 (2022).

How to cite: Balkoni, A., zu Castell, W., Wiltshire, K. H., Boersma, M., and Zoller, H.: Adaptive cycles of a phyto-zooplankton community under human pressure , EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-16349, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-16349, 2024.

X4.68
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EGU24-9785
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ECS
Antonio De Luca, Maximo Peviani, Sergio Scanu, Andrea Miccoli, Giuseppe Scapigliati, and Marco Marcelli

Low head Pumped Hydro Storage (PHS) has emerged as a promising solution for energy storage, particularly with the increasing development of off-shore wind power in Northern Europe. The ALPHEUS project (Augmenting Grid Stability Through Low Head Pumped Hydro Energy Utilization and Storage), funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program, places significant emphasis on investigating environmental issues and potential related impacts. By addressing key environmental aspects, the project aims to contribute to the sustainable integration of low head PHS, aligning with the broader goals of promoting renewable energy and grid stability in Europe.

The coastal zone, marked by diverse physical and ecological conditions, is susceptible to the exploitation of numerous natural resources. Studying the current status and the intricate relationships between natural ecosystems and PHS structures during installation, operation, and decommissioning involves identifying and analyzing various multidisciplinary components, including, ecology, engineering, and economics aspects. This evaluation is an integral part of the legislative and regulatory framework governing the assessment of suitable places for the deployment of coastal or off-shore energy production facilities.

The legal and regulatory framework relating to environmental aspects in two countries bordering the North Sea is also compared. Germany and The Netherlands are selected as examples for pilot sites assessment in this study including an evaluation of potential environmental constraints, the availability of environmental public data, and an assessment of existing infrastructure to be potentially converted. The assessment of sites from the environmental point of view is achieved on the basis of the “Marine Strategy Framework Directive” scheme identifying the potential interactions between the ecological parameters and the potential impacts of a PHS infrastructure. The success of sustainable low head Pumped Hydro Storage technology relies on the management of natural resources and the resolution of conflicts among sea use actors such as local communities and stakeholders.

How to cite: De Luca, A., Peviani, M., Scanu, S., Miccoli, A., Scapigliati, G., and Marcelli, M.: Assessment of legal, regulatory, and environmental issues in the commissioning of low head Pumped Hydro Storage technology: a case study in the Greater North Sea, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-9785, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-9785, 2024.