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NUTRIENTS IN THE NORTHERN ADRIATIC SEA: CONSEQUENCES OF N/P/SI LOADS AND DIFFERENT RATIOS FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF MICROALGAE, WITH PARTICULAR REFERENCE TO HARMFUL SPECIES

Objective

To investigate the relationships between coastal eutrophication, stratification of the water column, plankton biomass development and the "blooming" of harmful or toxic phytoplankton species.


The project will address the following tasks:

A) Determination of the importance of macronutrients with emphasis on the establishment of the limiting factor(s), for algal blooms in the N-Adriatic Sea, along a 235 km coastal stretch between the Po delta and the Manche region (near Ancona town).

B) Evaluation of the importance of macronutrient ratios (N/P/Si) on the structure of the phytoplankton community.

C) Assessment of the importance of zooplankton grazing as a factor which may change the phytoplankton structure towards the dominance of harmful or toxic species.

Field cruises on board research vessels of various sizes will be performed along transects, perpendicular to the coastline, comprising the whole range of hydrological and nutritional conditions (from mixed, eutrophic estuarine to stratified, oligotrophic offshore waters) to analyse CTD, light energy, inorganic and organic nutrients, algal and bacterial biomass and productivity and sinking rates of living and inorganic particles, with particular emphasis on the size distribution and structure of algal biomass (chlorophyll a and phaeopigments).

The field studies will be complemented by mesocosm and laboratory investigations, which will include algal growth potential tests, nutrient enrichment bioassays, algal competition tests for nutrients, grazing experiments etc.

A hydrodynamic model which will simulate the transport of the water masses in the area will be combined with an ecological model of phytoplankton production and decay. The model, validated on measured data, from the project as well as from literature data finally aims to be applied as a predictive tool for harmful algal blooms as well as a management tool for reducing the development of harmful algal blooms.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

ISTITUTO SUPERIORE DI SANITA
Address
Viale Regina Elena 299
00161 Roma
Italy

Participants (6)

CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE
France
Address
Place Du Séminaire
17137 L'houmeau
CHRISTIAN-ALBRECHTS UNIVERSITAET ZU KIEL
Germany
Address
Duesternbrooker Weg 20
24105 Kiel
CONSEJO SUPERIOR DE INVESTIGACIONES CIENTIFICAS
Spain
Address
S/n,passeig Joan De Borbo S/n
08039 Barcelona
LUND UNIVERSITY
Sweden
Address
Ecology Building
223 62 Lund
National Centre for Marine Research
Greece
Address

16604 Athens
Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Portugal
Address
Quinta Da Torre
2825 Monte De Caparica