The key role of paralic environments as providers of ecosystem services, associated with their increasingly threatened state, led to the definition of international water management policies aimed to improve ecological quality status (EcoQs). Restoration actions rely on the definition of reference conditions, which is a particularly challenging task in naturally stressed transitional environments. In the present work, we apply the diversity index Exp(H’bc ) on benthic foraminifer assemblages from two anthropogenically unimpacted transitional to coastal Holocene sediment successions of the Po coastal plain, in order to assess past EcoQs (PaleoEcoQs). Ostracod ecological groups provided detailed insights on naturally stressful paleoenvironmental conditions. We show that “poor” to “moderate” PaleoEcoQs are recorded by biological indicators at reference conditions under fluctuations of chemical-physical parameters and organic matter enrichment. We emphasize the importance of a site-specific paleobiological approach, as significant differences in diversity occur even on a short spatial scale. This study illustrates that early to mid-Holocene sediment successions resulted to be appropriate for conservation paleobiological purposes, providing a high-resolution paleoecological record under the influence of the Holocene sea-level rise in analogy with the present-day global change.

Conservation paleobiology as a tool to define reference conditions in naturally stressed transitional settings: Micropaleontological insights from the holocene of the po coastal plain (italy)

Barbieri G.
Primo
;
Rossi V.
Secondo
;
Ghosh A.
Penultimo
;
Vaiani S. C.
Ultimo
2020

Abstract

The key role of paralic environments as providers of ecosystem services, associated with their increasingly threatened state, led to the definition of international water management policies aimed to improve ecological quality status (EcoQs). Restoration actions rely on the definition of reference conditions, which is a particularly challenging task in naturally stressed transitional environments. In the present work, we apply the diversity index Exp(H’bc ) on benthic foraminifer assemblages from two anthropogenically unimpacted transitional to coastal Holocene sediment successions of the Po coastal plain, in order to assess past EcoQs (PaleoEcoQs). Ostracod ecological groups provided detailed insights on naturally stressful paleoenvironmental conditions. We show that “poor” to “moderate” PaleoEcoQs are recorded by biological indicators at reference conditions under fluctuations of chemical-physical parameters and organic matter enrichment. We emphasize the importance of a site-specific paleobiological approach, as significant differences in diversity occur even on a short spatial scale. This study illustrates that early to mid-Holocene sediment successions resulted to be appropriate for conservation paleobiological purposes, providing a high-resolution paleoecological record under the influence of the Holocene sea-level rise in analogy with the present-day global change.
Barbieri G.; Rossi V.; Ghosh A.; Vaiani S.C.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/795398
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