Inter-Research > MEPS > v711 > p1-16  
Marine Ecology Progress Series

via Mailchimp

MEPS 711:1-16 (2023)  -  DOI:

Effect of increased inundation time on intertidal ecosystem functions of South West Atlantic soft-bottom environments

Clara Diaz de Astarloa1,*, Micaela Giorgini2, Ana Miguez1, Oscar Iribarne1, Mauricio Escapa1

1Laboratorio de Ecología, Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras (IIMyC; Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata-Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas), Juan B. Justo 2550, B7600WAG Mar del Plata, Argentina
2Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo Pesquero (INIDEP), Paseo Victoria Ocampo N°1, Escollera Norte, B7602HSA Mar del Plata, Argentina
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Soft-bottom intertidal systems are valuable due to the ecosystem services they provide. Although these systems are normally subjected to highly variable environmental conditions, disturbances have become more frequent due to increases in anthropogenic pressure. Sea level rise (SLR) may generate changes in the ecosystem functioning of intertidal systems and in the ecosystem services they provide. In the Argentinean coast (SW Atlantic), SLR analysis shows trends similar to the global ones. It is not known how disturbances may affect the activity of benthic communities and the associated ecosystem functions. Therefore, through a field experiment at the marsh-mudflat edge in northeastern Argentina, we evaluated the effect of increased inundation time on bioturbation intensity, detritus decomposition and microphytobenthic primary production. Sediment physicochemical parameters (pH, temperature, water content and organic matter) were also measured. The results showed that increased inundation time had no effect on microphytobenthic primary production or bioturbation intensity in summer. Nevertheless, inundation time increased the burrowing activity of the intertidal crab Neohelice granulata in winter and spring and greatly decreased the variability in Spartina densiflora decomposition and organic matter content. In the context of a changing world due to global climate change, reduced variability in ecosystem functioning could indicate a decline in ecosystem resilience. As a consequence, vital ecosystem functions could be altered or lost, thus impacting the ecosystem services they deliver.

KEY WORDS: Intertidal systems · Sea level rise · Bioturbation · Primary production · Detritus decomposition

Full text in pdf format
Cite this article as: Diaz de Astarloa C, Giorgini M, Miguez A, Iribarne O, Escapa M (2023) Effect of increased inundation time on intertidal ecosystem functions of South West Atlantic soft-bottom environments. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 711:1-16.

Export citation
Share:    Facebook - - linkedIn

Next article