We investigated the spatial variability of sediment organic matter content and composition in three areas (A, B and C) of the Northwestern Adriatic Sea, subjected to a putative gradient of trophic state (i.e., increasing distance from the Po river outflow) in order to determine the appropriate sample size and replication. The analysis of the mesoscale variability was carried out comparing variability on the scale of meters (i.e. among different deployments) with the variability observed on a scale of several kilometres (i.e. among different sampling areas). Sediment samples, collected on April 1999, October 1999, April and October 2000, were analysed for chloropigment content (chlorophyll-a and phaeopygments) and protein, carbohydrate and lipid concentrations. Chloropigment, protein, carbohydrate and lipid concentrations were high, indicating that this system shares trophic conditions typical of highly productive environments. All organic matter components displayed a distribution independent from the increasing distance from the Po river outflow and a clear spatial variability, characterised by significant differences among different areas, but not among deployments. Carbohydrates were the biochemical compound displaying the highest spatial variability among the three areas. Chloropigment, protein, carbohydrate and lipid concentrations displayed also significant temporal changes. When spatial and temporal variability were compared, chlorophyll-a, phaeopigment and protein concentrations displayed a higher temporal than spatial variability. Conversely, for carbohydrates and lipids spatial and temporal variability was of the same order of magnitude. Organic matter composition displayed limited changes among areas, but a strong temporal variability. The results from the Adriatic sea suggest that analyses from sediments collected from a single deployment are sufficient for assessing organic matter concentration and composition over areas of several hundreds of square meters. However, for estimating organic matter composition over larger spatial scales (i.e. miles) the identification of different sampling areas is needed.
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|Titolo:||Mesoscale variability of organic matter composition in NW Adriatic sediments|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2003|
|Tipologia:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|