Mar Piccolo of Taranto - Italy

Basic Information
Site Name
Mar Piccolo of Taranto
Short name
Mar Piccolo
Country
Italy
Keywords
alien species
bacteria
biodiversity
biogeography
cyanobacteria
environmental change
Heavy metal deposition
macroinvertebrates
macrophytobenthos
oceanography
phytoplankton
Transitional waters
Site Description
The Mar Piccolo basin was been studying since the first years of the last century when the Institute for Marine Coastal Environment of Taranto was built and named Royal Institute for Marine Biology. In that period the basin was studied from different points of view in order to set up the best conditions for mussel culture. To this purpose, chemical-physical studies on temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen of seawater were the first to be carried out. As the years went by, other chemical-physical variables were investigated (e.g. nutrients, chlorophyll) and, starting from 1990’s, also suspended matter was considered. Extensive studies on biodiversity were also performed. The first investigations on the biota were those on macroalgae which date back to the beginning of the last century. They were floristic studies and the papers do not report long lists of species but only some observations on a few taxa; however, all the samples collected in the Mar Piccolo are kept in exsiccata in a rich herbarium (Pierpaoli Herbarium), which can be considered in the same way as a historical series of data. Successively (from 1969; 1970; 1983; 1984), some sporadic information on macroalgae was also included in generic papers about the basin. Only at the end of the eighties, the accurate study of the phytobenthos was undertaken, from both a floristic and a vegetational point of view which is still ongoing. Also studies on zoobenthos date back to the half of the last century and are still ongoing. Nowadays, the basin is constantly monitored to follow the trend of the most important chemical-physical variables, to observe changes in the composition of the biocenoses and to early detect the presence of alien species. Studies on the diversity of bacteria began in the 1980’s whereas investigations on phytoplankton (active stages and resting stages) and nekton, especially juveniles of commercially important species, are more recent but important series of data are already available. Moreover, starting from 1990’s the basin has been extensively studied also concerning the impact of metals (Hg, Pb, Cd, Cu, Zn, Ni and V), IPAs and PCBs in marine sediments and edible mollusks.
Metadata Update Date
2019-07-02 16:10:44
General Characteristics, Purpose, History
Site Status
existing
Year Established
1914
Purpose
The current scientific activities performed on the Mar Piccolo concern the continuation of studies on biodiversity of phytobenthos (seaweeds and phaerogams), zoobenthos, phytoplankton, microbial communities, as well as the chemical-physical features of the basin, and the impact of metals, IPAs and PCBs in marine sediments and edible mollusks. New investigation issues are: alien species, bioactive compounds from marine biomasses, new species in aquaculture, zooplankton, cyanopicoplankton.
History
The Mar Piccolo basin was been studying since the first years of the last century when the Institute for Marine Coastal Environment of Taranto was built and named Royal Institute for Marine Biology. In that period the basin was studied from different points of view in order to set up the best conditions for mussel culture. To this purpose, chemical-physical studies on temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen of seawater were the first to be carried out. As the years went by, other chemical-physical variables were investigated (e.g. nutrients, chlorophyll) and, starting from 1990’s, also suspended matter was considered. Extensive studies on biodiversity were also performed. The first investigations on the biota were those on macroalgae which date back to the beginning of the last century. They were floristic studies and the papers do not report long lists of species but only some observations on a few taxa; however, all the samples collected in the Mar Piccolo are kept in exsiccata in a rich herbarium (Pierpaoli Herbarium), which can be considered in the same way as a historical series of data. Successively (from 1969; 1970; 1983; 1984), some sporadic information on macroalgae was also included in generic papers about the basin. Only at the end of the eighties, the accurate study of the phytobenthos was undertaken, from both a floristic and a vegetational point of view which is still ongoing. Also studies on zoobenthos date back to the half of the last century and are still ongoing. Nowadays, the basin is constantly monitored to follow the trend of the most important chemical-physical variables, to observe changes in the composition of the biocenoses and to early detect the presence of alien species. Studies on the diversity of bacteria began in the 1980’s whereas investigations on phytoplankton (active stages and resting stages) and nekton, especially juveniles of commercially important species, are more recent but important series of data are already available. Moreover, starting from 1990’s the basin has been extensively studied also concerning the impact of metals (Hg, Pb, Cd, Cu, Zn, Ni and V), IPAs and PCBs in marine sediments and edible mollusks.
Photos
not defined
Geographic
Size
2072.00ha
Elevation (average)
11.44msl
Elevation (min)
0.00msl
Elevation (max)
15.00msl
Affiliation and Network Specific Information
Affiliation
LTER Italia (LTER_EU_IT_095_001)This site is a verified LTER Italia member
Projects