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Immediate effects of experimental human trampling on mid-upper intertidal benthic invertebrates at the Asinara Island MPA (NW Mediterranean)
Casu, D.; Ceccherelli, G.; Castelli, A. (2006). Immediate effects of experimental human trampling on mid-upper intertidal benthic invertebrates at the Asinara Island MPA (NW Mediterranean), in: Queiroga, H. et al. (Ed.) Marine biodiversity: patterns and processes, assessment, threats, management and conservation: Proceedings of the 38th European Marine Biology Symposium, held in Aveiro, Portugal, 8-12 September 2003. Developments in Hydrobiology, 183: pp. 271-279. dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10750-005-1123-3
In: Queiroga, H. et al. (Ed.) (2006). Marine biodiversity: patterns and processes, assessment, threats, management and conservation: Proceedings of the 38th European Marine Biology Symposium, held in Aveiro, Portugal, 8-12 September 2003. Developments in Hydrobiology, 183. Springer: Dordrecht. ISBN 1-4020-4321-X. XV, 353 pp., more
In: Dumont, H.J. (Ed.) Developments in Hydrobiology. Kluwer Academic/Springer: The Hague; London; Boston; Dordrecht. ISSN 0167-8418, more

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Document type: Conference paper

Keywords
    Marine invertebrates; MED, Italy, Sardinia, Asinara Gulf [Marine Regions]; Marine
Author keywords
    Asinara Island; benthic invertebrates; MPA; trampling

Authors  Top 
  • Casu, D.
  • Ceccherelli, G.
  • Castelli, A., more

Abstract
    To assess potential risks of human visitation to ecological communities, the immediate effects of human trampling were investigated experimentally on small invertebrates inhabiting mid-upper intertidal hard bottoms covered by algae. Two different experimental intensities of trampling (60 and 120 footsteps) and controls (with no trampling) were applied to quadrats 20×20 cm in size (experimental area), within the two ‘no-entry, no-take’ zones of the Asinara Island MPA (Italy, Mediterranean Sea). One day after trampling ended, samples of benthic fauna were collected and the animals attributed to macrofaunal and meiofaunal components. Analyses of variance on the nine most common taxa of macrofauna identified significant higher abundance of bivalves, gammarid amphipods, polychaetes, isopods, oligochaetes in controls than in trampled plots. For nematodes, polychaetes, ostracods, oligochaetes, bivalves, acari, caprellid amphipods and tanaids a significant higher abundance of meiofaunal animals was found in controls than in trampled areas. Although no information on recovery is available, these results suggest that macrofaunal and meiofaunal taxa are vulnerable to this type of disturbance.

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