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Article

Conservation Paleobiology as a Tool to Define Reference Conditions in Naturally Stressed Transitional Settings: Micropaleontological Insights from the Holocene of the Po Coastal Plain (Italy)

1
Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences, University of Bologna, Via Zamboni 67, 40126 Bologna, Italy
2
Department of Geological Sciences, Jadavpur University, Kolkata 700032, India
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(12), 3420; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123420
Received: 31 October 2020 / Revised: 28 November 2020 / Accepted: 1 December 2020 / Published: 4 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Anthropogenic Impact on Coastal Environments)
The key role of paralic environments as providers of ecosystem services, associated with their increasingly threatened state, led to the definition of international water management policies aimed to improve ecological quality status (EcoQs). Restoration actions rely on the definition of reference conditions, which is a particularly challenging task in naturally stressed transitional environments. In the present work, we apply the diversity index Exp(H’bc) on benthic foraminifer assemblages from two anthropogenically unimpacted transitional to coastal Holocene sediment successions of the Po coastal plain, in order to assess past EcoQs (PaleoEcoQs). Ostracod ecological groups provided detailed insights on naturally stressful paleoenvironmental conditions. We show that “poor” to “moderate” PaleoEcoQs are recorded by biological indicators at reference conditions under fluctuations of chemical-physical parameters and organic matter enrichment. We emphasize the importance of a site-specific paleobiological approach, as significant differences in diversity occur even on a short spatial scale. This study illustrates that early to mid-Holocene sediment successions resulted to be appropriate for conservation paleobiological purposes, providing a high-resolution paleoecological record under the influence of the Holocene sea-level rise in analogy with the present-day global change. View Full-Text
Keywords: conservation paleobiology; benthic foraminifers; ostracods; Holocene; Po coastal plain; PaleoEcoQs conservation paleobiology; benthic foraminifers; ostracods; Holocene; Po coastal plain; PaleoEcoQs
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MDPI and ACS Style

Barbieri, G.; Rossi, V.; Ghosh, A.; Vaiani, S.C. Conservation Paleobiology as a Tool to Define Reference Conditions in Naturally Stressed Transitional Settings: Micropaleontological Insights from the Holocene of the Po Coastal Plain (Italy). Water 2020, 12, 3420. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123420

AMA Style

Barbieri G, Rossi V, Ghosh A, Vaiani SC. Conservation Paleobiology as a Tool to Define Reference Conditions in Naturally Stressed Transitional Settings: Micropaleontological Insights from the Holocene of the Po Coastal Plain (Italy). Water. 2020; 12(12):3420. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123420

Chicago/Turabian Style

Barbieri, Giulia; Rossi, Veronica; Ghosh, Anupam; Vaiani, Stefano C. 2020. "Conservation Paleobiology as a Tool to Define Reference Conditions in Naturally Stressed Transitional Settings: Micropaleontological Insights from the Holocene of the Po Coastal Plain (Italy)" Water 12, no. 12: 3420. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123420

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