Knowledge of spatio-temporal variability of assemblages is the first step in identifying key factors affecting the abundance and distribution of organisms. Despite a long history of ecological studies on rocky intertidal habitats, there is still a lack of basic knowledge about the microphytobenthic components. We investigated the spatio-temporal variability of microphytobenthos in the northwest Mediterranean at multiple scales, including both seasonal and daily observations, as well as its composition. Spatial variability of microphytobenthic biomass varied significantly with season, with an increase in small-scale variance from cold to warm periods. Furthermore, during warmer months, small-scale variances (tens to hundreds of centimeters) were larger than large-scale components (tens to thousands of meters). These results suggest large spatiotemporal variation in the processes driving variation in microphytobenthic assemblages, including interactive effects among stressful abiotic conditions, substratum topography and grazing. In addition, observed variability on a daily scale suggested that microphytobenthos at the study site (dominated by cyanobacteria) might cope with stressful environmental conditions through both physiological and behavioral strategies at micro-spatial scales, including small movements within the substratum. Additional research on ecological and physiological aspects of rocky shore microphytobenthos is needed to better understand its role within interaction webs and primary productivity processes.

Spatio-temporal variability in Mediterranean rocky shore microphytobenthos

Maggi, E.
Primo
;
Rindi, L.;Dal Bello, M.;Fontanini, D.;Capocchi, A.;Benedetti-Cecchi, L.
Ultimo
2017-01-01

Abstract

Knowledge of spatio-temporal variability of assemblages is the first step in identifying key factors affecting the abundance and distribution of organisms. Despite a long history of ecological studies on rocky intertidal habitats, there is still a lack of basic knowledge about the microphytobenthic components. We investigated the spatio-temporal variability of microphytobenthos in the northwest Mediterranean at multiple scales, including both seasonal and daily observations, as well as its composition. Spatial variability of microphytobenthic biomass varied significantly with season, with an increase in small-scale variance from cold to warm periods. Furthermore, during warmer months, small-scale variances (tens to hundreds of centimeters) were larger than large-scale components (tens to thousands of meters). These results suggest large spatiotemporal variation in the processes driving variation in microphytobenthic assemblages, including interactive effects among stressful abiotic conditions, substratum topography and grazing. In addition, observed variability on a daily scale suggested that microphytobenthos at the study site (dominated by cyanobacteria) might cope with stressful environmental conditions through both physiological and behavioral strategies at micro-spatial scales, including small movements within the substratum. Additional research on ecological and physiological aspects of rocky shore microphytobenthos is needed to better understand its role within interaction webs and primary productivity processes.
2017
Maggi, E.; Rindi, L.; Dal Bello, M.; Fontanini, D.; Capocchi, A.; Bongiorni, L.; Benedetti-Cecchi, L.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/883750
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