Bergamasco, A., De Nat, L., Flindt, M.R. and Amos, C.L.
Interactions and feedbacks among phytobenthos, hydrodynamics, nutrient cycling and sediment transport in estuarine ecosystems
Continental Shelf Research, 23, (17-19), . (doi:10.1016/j.csr.2003.06.014).
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Phytobenthic communities can play an active role in modifying the environmental characteristics of the ecosystem in which they live so mediating the human impact on Coastal Zone habitats. Complicated feedbacks couple the establishment of phytobenthic communities with water quality and physical parameters in estuaries.Direct and indirect interactions between physical and biological attributes need to be considered in order to improve the management of these ecosystems to guarantee a sustainable use of coastal resources. Within the project F-ECTS ("Feedbacks of Estuarine Circulation and Transport of Sediments on phytobenthos") this issue was approached through a three-step strategy: (i) Monitoring: detailed fieldwork activities focusing on the measurement and evaluation of the main processes involving hydrodynamics, sediments, nutrients, light and phytobenthic biomass; (ii) Modeling: joint modeling of the suspended particulate matter erosion/transport/deposition and biological mediation of the hydrodynamics and (iii) GIS: development of GIS-based practical tools able to manage and exploit measured and modeled data on the basis of scientific investigation guidelines and procedures. The overall strategy is described by illustrating results of field measurements, providing details of model implementation and demonstrating the GIS-based tools
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