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Short-term effects of experimental trampling on polychaetes of a rocky intertidal substratum (Asinara Island MPA, NW Mediterranean)
Daniela Casu, Giulia Ceccherelli, Marco Curini-Galletti and Alberto Castelli

Rocky intertidal platforms at Asinara Island Marine Protected Area (Italy, Mediterranean Sea) were experimentally trampled to assess the impact of human visitation on polychaetes. Trampling at two different experimental intensities (60,120 steps/20x20 cm quadrat) and controls were applied at two locations (“no-entry, no-take” zones) of the MPA. One day after the experimental trampling, benthic samples were collected and the polychaetes counted and identified. Overall 1146 individuals were collected; Salvatoria clavata, Polyophthalmus pictus, Syllis prolifera, Amphiglena mediterranea, Fabricia stellaris, Platynereis dumerilii and Sphaerosyllis taylori were the most abundant species. Analyses of variance on all polychaetes and on each of the important polychaete species showed a significant higher abundance in controls than in trampled plots. Given the short-term decline in abundance, these results suggest that polychaetes are vulnerable even to the lowest experimental level of trampling.

Keywords: polychaetes, NW Mediterranean, MPA, Asinara Island.
Contents of this volume Sci. Mar. 70S3 : 179-186 Back PDF
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