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A habitat-specific fish-based approach to assess the ecological status of Mediterranean coastal lagoons

Franco, Anita; Torricelli, Patrizia; Franzoi, Piero


Anita Franco

Patrizia Torricelli

Piero Franzoi


A habitat approach was promoted in the framework of ecological status assessment of transitional waters, assuming the importance of habitat heterogeneity to the overall system status. The approach was applied to the use of fish-based multimetric indices by adapting them to seagrass and marsh habitats in the Venice lagoon, Italy, through selection of appropriate metrics and reference conditions. While for marsh habitats, no clear patterns resulted, the index response for seagrass was consistent with the habitat degradation and loss recorded in the lagoon between 2002 and 2005 and with the higher habitat disturbance in southern and central lagoon sub-basins. The assessment of individual habitats is presented as a first step in the process of evaluating the overall condition of a Mediterranean lagoon environment, which should also take account of the diversity of habitats and their availability within the system to properly define an overall index of ecological status. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Franco, A., Torricelli, P., & Franzoi, P. (2009). A habitat-specific fish-based approach to assess the ecological status of Mediterranean coastal lagoons. Marine pollution bulletin, 58(11), 1704-1717.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 25, 2009
Online Publication Date Jul 25, 2009
Publication Date 2009-11
Deposit Date Mar 27, 2019
Journal Marine Pollution Bulletin
Print ISSN 0025-326X
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 58
Issue 11
Pages 1704-1717
Keywords Fish Multimetric indices HFI Ecological status Habitat Mediterranean coastal lagoon south-african estuaries community degradation index shallow-water habitats venice lagoon biotic integrity anthropogenic pressures environmental-condition functional guilds
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