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Benthic Estuarine Assemblages from the Southern Brazilian Marine Ecoregion

  • Sérgio A. Netto
  • Paulo R. Pagliosa
  • André Colling
  • Alessandra L. Fonseca
  • Kalina M. Brauko
Chapter
Part of the Brazilian Marine Biodiversity book series (BMB)

Abstract

This chapter examines the estuaries within the Southern Brazilian Marine Ecoregion (SBE), a coastline of some 850 km in the tropical-temperate transition zone of the extreme southern portion of Brazil. A particular attention is given to the ecology of benthic communities, considering their structure, functioning, impacts, and conservation issues. In a microtidal and wave dominated environment, there are tens of small coastal plain estuaries and lagoons along the SBE. Although there is much overlapping of characteristics between small estuaries and lagoons, differences in the freshwater influence, spatial organization, and variability of gradients constitute important drivers since they directly affect species composition, abundance, and dominance of ecological guilds. This is particularly true for estuaries with intermittently open inlets, which are dominant in SBE. El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) has a strong influence on the regional climate, affecting interannual estuarine hydrodynamics, benthic fauna distribution and recruitment. The environmental quality status of 27 SBE estuarine systems according to the AZTI Marine Biotic Index (AMBI index) was largely classified as moderately disturbed (80%), whereas 20% of the sites were of slightly or undisturbed classifications. Different categories of marine protected areas (MPAs) are implemented in the estuaries in the SBE. Although MPAs, the Brazilian Coastal Management Plan as well as other policies could foster the sustainable use of coastal resources and ecosystem services, difficulties in coastal planning and in policy implementation still allow unsustainable practices, impacts, and habitat loss over all SBE estuaries.

Keywords

Coastal lagoons Small coastal plain estuaries Benthic fauna Santa Catarina Rio Grande do Sul 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sérgio A. Netto
    • 1
  • Paulo R. Pagliosa
    • 2
  • André Colling
    • 3
  • Alessandra L. Fonseca
    • 4
  • Kalina M. Brauko
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratório de Ciências MarinhasUniversidade do Sul de Santa CatarinaTubarãoBrazil
  2. 2.Laboratório de Biodiversidade e Conservação MarinhaNúcleo de Estudos do Mar, Universidade Federal de Santa CatarinaFlorianópolisBrazil
  3. 3.Laboratório de Ecologia de Invertebrados BentônicosInstituto de Oceanografia, Universidade Federal do Rio GrandeRio GrandeBrazil
  4. 4.Laboratório de Oceanografia QuímicaCoordenação Especial de Oceanografia, Universidade Federal de Santa CatarinaFlorianópolisBrazil

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