Recolonization and recovery dynamics of the macrozoobenthos after sand extraction in relict sand bottoms of the Northern Adriatic Sea

  • Published source details Simonini R., Ansaloni I., Bonini P., Grandi V., Graziosi F., Iotti M., Massamba-N’Siala G., Mauri M., Montanari G., Preti M., De N.N. & Prevedelli D. (2007) Recolonization and recovery dynamics of the macrozoobenthos after sand extraction in relict sand bottoms of the Northern Adriatic Sea. Marine Environmental Research, 64, 574-589


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Cease or prohibit aggregate extraction

Action Link
Subtidal Benthic Invertebrate Conservation
  1. Cease or prohibit aggregate extraction

    A before-and-after, site comparison study in 2001–2004 of 10 sites in one area of sandy seabed in the northern Mediterranean Sea, Italy (Simonini et al. 2007) found that from 18 months after ceasing aggregate extraction, invertebrate community composition, species richness, abundance and diversity were more similar to that of pre-extraction, and adjacent sites where extraction did not occur. Similarity in community composition with that of pre-extraction increased over time following cessation of extraction, from 9% similarity after one month, to 41–48% after 18–30 months. In addition, community composition became statistically similar to that of adjacent unextracted natural sites over time (59–66% similarity). Invertebrate species richness at extraction sites after 30 months (60–78) was similar to before extraction (54–72), and to unextracted sites (72–79). This was also true for invertebrate abundance (after: 2,300–2,500; before: 1,400–2,400; unextracted: 1,800–2,900 individual/m2), and diversity (as a diversity index) (these data were not statistically tested). Three sites (40–42 m depth) were dredged for aggregate extraction in April–May 2002. These and seven adjacent unextracted sites were surveyed once before (March 2001) and once during (April 2002) dredging, and six times following cessation (after one, six, 12, 18, 24 and 30 months). Three sediment samples/site/survey were collected using a grab (24 dm3) and pooled. Invertebrates (>0.5 mm) were identified and counted.

    (Summarised by: Anaëlle Lemasson)

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