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Adriatic Forum ICZM Expert Group Ancona (I) July 15 2006, Palombina beach Palombina beach The scientific approach Antonio Pusceddu.

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Presentation on theme: "Adriatic Forum ICZM Expert Group Ancona (I) July 15 2006, Palombina beach Palombina beach The scientific approach Antonio Pusceddu."— Presentation transcript:

1 Adriatic Forum ICZM Expert Group Ancona (I) July 15 2006, Palombina beach Palombina beach The scientific approach Antonio Pusceddu

2 To the casual observer, beaches may simply appear as barren stretches of sand - beautiful, but desert-like systems On the contrary, beaches are diverse and productive transitional ecosystems that serve as the critical link between marine and terrestrial environments. Sandy beaches provide habitats for hundreds of plant and animal species (most of which are insects and worms) Beaches support a rich trophic web of life in the adjacent submerged marine system, which includes worms, bivalves, and crustaceans Beaches are not deserts: they play a key role in coastal ecology

3 For their boundary position, beaches represent the conveyor location integrating terrestrial and marine ecosystem services and as such theyre exploited for a variety of human activities COASTAL RECLAMATION ACCIDENTS AT SEA (OIL SPILLS) INDUSTRIAL, DOMESTIC AND AGRICULTURE WASTES TOURISM RENOURISHMENT ANTI-EROSIONTOOLS

4 Beach and bathing-related recreational management is an important component of Integrated Coastal Zone Management. This is even exacerbated for those beaches located in urban coastal areas where the quality of the recreational resource is continuously threatened by the anthropogenic pressure But, were still searching for batteries of indicators for assessing the health of beach ecosystems and also exploring new tools for remediation Beaches and ICZM

5 Located between the port of Ancona and the API oil refinery Compressed by two very stiff transport pathways (the SS.19 (Flaminia) and the national railway Bologna – Lecce) Important recreational and bathing uses Degeneration of water quality in summertime related to eutrophication Therefore, we need integrated actions and tools for addressing these cross-cutting ecological and socio-economic issues The PALOMBINA Beach: a typical example of conflicting uses of the shorelines between industrial, urban and environmental services

6 Is the Palombina Beach human-affected? Evidences from a Beach Litter survey Beach litter is among the more evident indicators of human impact on the coastal marine environment

7 It includes: wood, glass, organic detritus, plastics, tissues Only a limited fraction is natural: the more abundant fractions is anthropogenic Beach litter

8 What about Palombina? Sampling Summer and Winter 2002 8 transects of 5 stations each At each station beach litter (> 0.5 cm) collected from 1m 2 squares (3 replicates per station) Organic load (gravimetric) and meiofauna (sand worms)

9 Results Accumulation close to the API refinery No temporal variations 0 10 20 30 40 50 12345678 g m -2 SummerWinter 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 SummerWinter g m -2

10 Litter in Palombina Relatively constant composition Dominance of marine organic detritus Increase of plastics in summer

11 Litter: Spiaggia di Palombina Biodegradable fraction is generally dominant Increase if persistent materials in summer

12 Hydrocarbons No statistical differences between transects Increase of concentrations in winter Total IPA 0.0 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0 8.0 9.0 12345678 Transect mg Kg SummerWinter PortAPI

13 A detritus fragment trespassing the barriers is less probably removed from waves The amount of litter remains more or less constant in summer, despite the cleaning operations This implies major inputs in summer and accumulation of non degradable litter Litter accumulation: the role of barriers Non degradable litter 0 5 10 15 20 25 WinterSummer g m -2

14 Beach litter and ecological response The summer accumulation of organic detritus is associated with a collapse of sand living organisms as an effect of dystrophic crises Organic detritus and meiofauna 0 5 10 15 20 WinterSummer g m -2 0 10 20 30 40 50 n ind 10 cm -2 Meiofauna

15 Conclusions 1) Beach litter provides a syntehtic tool for assessing pressures and human impact levels of beaches 2) A seasonal sampling strategy but replicated at very short spatial scale is sufficient to detect patterns of change 3) The composition more than the quantity of litter provides elements for assessing the levels of putative impact

16 i)To develop new indicators, protocols and management tools able to improve socio- economic and environmental sustainability of the Palombina beach; ii)To provide new scientific elements on actions of intervention for the quality assessment, the protection and the recovery of the beach ecosystem; iii) To identify ecologically sustainable biotechnological solutions for improving beach utilization What we need and aim to do

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