Effect of Submerged Structures on the Diversity of Macrozoobenthos in the Northern Adriatic Sea

  • R. Crema
  • D. Prevedelli
  • A. Castelli


Offshore exploitation of oil and other hydrocarbons requires the installation of platforms or similar structures fixed to the sea bottom. Generally, such structures remain in situ for long time after the end of drilling and production activities. The macrozoobenthic communities of a sea area located in the Northern Adriatic Sea surrounding one of these platforms were studied on two occasions: the first prior to the installation of the platform (1985) and the second 8 years later (1993), after production and other activities had terminated On both occasions, samplings were performed according to similar sampling grids extending about 3.5 km from the platform site. Comparing the community composition of the two periods, a remarkable decrease of surface deposit feeders was observed in the second period. Ordering techniques, applied to the entire set of community samples of both periods, pointed out not only the expected separation of the sampling points of the two periods but also a different pattern of dispersion. In fact, the samples of the first period were more dispersed in the model than those of the second period. The Bray-Curtis similarity values between samples exhibit a significantly greater similarity between pairs of samples of the second period. In spite of the fact that the diversity values of each individual sample are not different in the two sets, the different patterns of the increase of diversity, when plotted against the number of samples, further confirms the greater faunal uniformity among the samples of the second period. The results are discussed in light of sedimentological studies, performed in the same area, which highlight the role of the submerged structure in increasing the hydrodynamic energy near the bottom. This is consistent with the more recent findings in the literature on the dynamic variables that control the infauna distribution.


Submerged Structure Surface Deposit Feeder Platform Activity Macrozoobenthic Community Lanice Conchilega 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Crema
    • 1
  • D. Prevedelli
    • 1
  • A. Castelli
    • 2
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Biologia AnimaleUniwrsità di ModenaModenaItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Zoologia ed Antropologia BiologicaSassariItaly

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