Detection of thermal pollution: variability of benthic communities at two different spatial scales in an area influenced by a coastal power station
Lardicci, C.; Rossi, F.; Maltagliati, F. (1999). Detection of thermal pollution: variability of benthic communities at two different spatial scales in an area influenced by a coastal power station. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 38(4): 296-303
The influence of a coastal power station thermal discharge on spatial variability of meiobenthic and macrobenthic community abundances in the Gulf of Follonica (Western Mediterranean) was investigated using Beyond BACI designs in September 1996. Analysis of benthic communities showed that heated effluent seemed not to influence assemblage structure or the spatial distribution of the study taxa, abundance and variability of the benthic assemblages either did not exhibit significant differences between impact and control locations or the control locations were as different from each other as they were from the impacted location. We conclude that the assemblage abundances in the impacted location were within the range of spatial variability encountered naturally on the western side of the Gulf of Follonica. This research emphasises the importance of including more than one control in any study of a potential impact.