Malostonski zaljev - Croatia
Malostonski zaljev includes the sea area of Dubrovnik-Neretva County southeast of the line Sreser-Duba to the Kuta bay. The area is located at the end of the Neretva channel in which the Neretva river influences. Ecological conditions in the bay depend mostly on influences from the mainland and partly from the open sea. External and middle part of the bay are occasionally under stronger effect of the Neretva freshwater and its inner part is less affected by freshwater Delta. Strong underwater freshwater springs in the inner part of the bay have a great impact on hydrophysical and ecological relationships in the bay. According to the concentration of nutrients and the amount of phytoplankton, the bay may qualify as a natural moderate eutrophication system. Thanks to the specific environmental conditions, the living world in a bay is extremely rich. From antique times people have been cultivating shellfish (mussels and oysters) in a bay and today it is the most important place for the cultivation of oysters in Croatia (especially European flat oyster Ostrea edulis). The majority of the benthic algal flora consists of Cystoseira settlements that grow on the rocky bottom to 5 m of depth. Complete absence of Posidonia oceanica indicates very poor flora of the deeper settlements. For the inner part of Malostonski zaljev Bay characteristic are dense populations of organisms that feed on plankton by filtering seawater (especially corrals). The area is part of a Special reserve in the sea Malostonski zaljev Bay declared in 1983. Lithostratigraphic units represented around this area are cretaceous rudist limestones. It was created after the transgression of the sea after the last glaciation. Presence of abrasion processes. Characteristic for Malostonski zaljev is low coast with several coves.
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