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Hydrobiologia

, Volume 699, Issue 1, pp 99–110 | Cite as

Integrity of linear littoral habitats of Lesina and Curonian Lagoons

  • R. Povilanskas
  • A. Armaitienė
  • P. Breber
  • A. Razinkovas-Baziukas
  • J. Taminskas
COASTAL LAGOON ECOSYSTEMS

Abstract

The main differences between the linear and areal types of littoral habitats are in their shape, structure and the hydro- and litho-dynamic, salinity and ecological gradients between terrestrial and aquatic environments. Understanding the nature of linear littoral habitats is important for interpreting the ‘coastal squeeze’ effect. The aim of this study is to analyse and compare the integrity of the key linear littoral habitats adjacent to two European lagoons—Lesina Lagoon on the Adriatic Sea and the Curonian Lagoon on the Baltic Sea. Among the four linear habitats selected for this study, we found that the glasswort (Salicornia spp.) swards showed the highest level of integrity, while the reed beds showed the lowest level of integrity. The linear littoral habitats rely on the dynamic equilibrium conditions. Hence, the strip of glasswort swards and the freshwater dune slack ponds of Bosco Isola di Lesina both depend upon climatic conditions that determine the shape of the salinity gradient. This gradient runs perpendicular to the coast and is based on a transition from fresh groundwater to saline water. The chain of shifting coastal dunes and the reed beds of the Curonian Spit depend upon the long-shore hydro- and litho-dynamic flow conditions.

Keywords

Littoral habitats Habitat integrity Lesina Lagoon Curonian Lagoon 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Povilanskas
    • 1
  • A. Armaitienė
    • 1
  • P. Breber
    • 2
  • A. Razinkovas-Baziukas
    • 3
  • J. Taminskas
    • 4
  1. 1.Recreation and Tourism DepartmentKlaipėda UniversityKlaipedaLithuania
  2. 2.Department of Lesina (FG)National Research Council—Marine Science InstituteLesinaItaly
  3. 3.Coastal Research and Planning InstituteKlaipėda UniversityKlaipedaLithuania
  4. 4.Nature Research CentreInstitute of Geology and GeographyVilniusLithuania

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