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Impact of the brine from a desalination plant on a shallow seagrass (Posidonia oceanica) meadow

AuthorsGacia, Esperança ; Invers, O.; Manzanera, Marta; Ballesteros, Enric ; Ballesteros, Enric ; Romero, Javier
Balearic Islands
Posidonia oceanica
Physiological stress
Issue DateMay-2007
CitationEstuarine Coastal and Shelf Science 72 (4) : 579-590 (2007)
AbstractAlthough seawater desalination has increased significantly over recent decades, little attention has been paid to the impact of the main by-product (hypersaline water: brine) on ecosystems. In the Mediterranean, potentially the most affected ecosystems are meadows of the endemic seagrass Posidonia oceanica. We studied the effect of brine on a shallow P. oceanica meadow exposed to reverse osmosis brine discharge for more than 6 years. P. oceanica proved to be very sensitive to both eutrophication and high salinities derived from the brine discharge. Affected plants showed high epiphyte load and nitrogen content in the leaves, high frequencies of necrosis marks, low total non-structural carbohydrates and low glutamine synthetase activity, compared to control plants. However, there was no indication of extensive decline of the affected meadow. This is probably due to its very shallow situation, which results in high incident radiation as well as fast dilution and dispersion of the brine plume.
Description12 páginas, 10 figuras, 7 tablas.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2006.11.021
Appears in Collections:(CEAB) Artículos
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