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New Insights on Phytoplankton Communities as a Tool for the Sustainable Management of the Musselculture in a Mediterranean Coastal Site

Carmela Caroppo and Laura Giordano    


A simulation of phytoplankton dynamics in the coastal shellfish farming site of Mar Piccolo in Taranto (Ionian, Mediterranean Sea) is here reported. This simulation is an element of a greater ecological model produced taking into account the System Approach Framework. The model represents a refinement of a previous phytoplankton tool aimed to better understand the complex mosaic of the ecosystem functioning by providing additional information to support mussel farming. In particular, throughout the years the increase of water temperature and intensive musselculture caused a phytoplankton size and biomass reduction. Results of our simulation evidenced that the phytoplankton tool reproduced the size-fractions (micro-, nano- and picophytoplankton) biomass growth and the mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis) grazing with a good level of performance. This newly calibrated phytoplankton model aims to provide new insights on modelling scenarios for the sustainable production of mussels.

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