Author(s): Caruso G, Leonardi M, Monticelli LS, Decembrini F, Azzaro F,
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Abstract A 1-year cycle of observations was performed in four Sicilian transitional water systems (Oliveri-Tindari, Cape Peloro, Vendicari and Marsala) to characterise their ecological status. A panel of variables among which trophic and microbial (enzyme activities, abundance of hetetrophic bacteria and of bacterial pollution indicators) parameters, were selected. Particulate organic carbon (POC) and nitrogen (PON) and chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) contents defined the trophic state, while microbial hydrolysis rates and abundance gave insights on microbial community efficiency in organic matter transformation and on allochthonous inputs. To classify the trophic state of examined waters, the synthetic trophic state index (TRIX) was calculated. Microbial hydrolysis rates correlated positively with POC and Chl-a, which increased along the eutrophication gradient. The significant relationships among TRIX, trophic and microbial parameters suggested the use of leucine aminopeptidase, alkaline phosphatase and POC as suitable parameters to implement the Water Framework Directive when assessing the ecological status of transitional water systems. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Mar Pollut Bull
and referenced in Journal of Ecosystem & Ecography