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Multiple environmental descriptors to assess ecological status of sensitive habitats in the area affected by the Costa Concordia shipwreck (Giglio Island, Italy)

  • Marina Penna (a1), Paola Gennaro (a1), Tiziano Bacci (a1), Benedetta Trabucco (a1), Enrico Cecchi (a2), Cecilia Mancusi (a2), Luigi Piazzi (a3), Francesco Sante Rende (a1), Fabrizio Serena (a2) (a4) and Anna Maria Cicero (a1)...

Abstract

The aim of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the application of multiple environmental descriptors through an asymmetrical sampling design to detect possible impacts related to the Costa Concordia event on the coastal marine environment. The Costa Concordia shipwreck occurred on a submerged rocky reef in the north-western Mediterranean Sea and the wreck was removed 2 years later. To achieve the proposed objective two main coastal ecosystems, the seagrass Posidonia oceanica and coralligenous assemblages were studied using two ecological indices, PREI and ESCA, respectively. Both indices show a lower ecological quality in the disturbed sites compared with the control ones. Differences between the disturbed and control sites observed in both studied ecosystems would seem to indicate an increase of turbidity around the shipwreck as the most plausible cause of impact. The concurrent use of different ecological indices and asymmetrical sampling designs allowed detection of differences in ecological quality of the disturbed sites compared with the controls. This approach may represent an interesting tool to be employed in impact evaluation studies.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: M. Penna, ISPRA, Institute for Environmental Protection and Research, Via Vitaliano Brancati, 60, 00144 Rome, Italy email: marina.penna@isprambiente.it

References

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Keywords

Multiple environmental descriptors to assess ecological status of sensitive habitats in the area affected by the Costa Concordia shipwreck (Giglio Island, Italy)

  • Marina Penna (a1), Paola Gennaro (a1), Tiziano Bacci (a1), Benedetta Trabucco (a1), Enrico Cecchi (a2), Cecilia Mancusi (a2), Luigi Piazzi (a3), Francesco Sante Rende (a1), Fabrizio Serena (a2) (a4) and Anna Maria Cicero (a1)...

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