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Study on primary productivity and secondary production of artificial structures next to the S. Croce seabed bulge
Start date: Jun 30, 2003, End date: Sep 29, 2006 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The study, a continuation of the research put in place under Programme INTERREG IIA/Phare-CBC Italy- Slovenia, aims at the characterization of the S. Croce seabed bulge site through the recording - by means of multiparameter probes - and the chemical analysis of the main parameters and factors that condition the biotic component, such as temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen and transparency. Another stage concerns the analysis of biodiversity (number of species and respective abundance) and the ascertainment of maturity of the immersed structures according to the thigmotropic effects produced by the barrier on fish. The biomasses of species that are commercially interesting (mussels, oysters and cockles) are assessed in order to weigh their potential economic exploitation and to ascertain the effect of captation and passive repopulation produced by the Multilevel Underwater Structures (Ml.U.S.). An analysis of colonization dynamics is carried out with reference to the different types of substrate and the effects of experimenting innovative techniques for the restoration of the environment and the marine ecosystem. As regards the characterization of the bottom biocenosis and the thanatocenosis that are observed around the seabed bulge, research is carried out for an impact assessment of the artificial structure on the environment and the potential changes produced by the colonizing organisms on the surrounding sediments. Lastly, the existing structures are adjusted by parcelling the available space in order to widen the range of habitats for each size of fish; moreover, a surveillance service is envisaged, to prevent sport fishing in the area. At the end of the project, the results of the theoretical and applied research will be used for educational purposes, both on paper and multimedia supports.
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