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Open AccessArticle

Monitoring Skeletal Anomalies in Big-Scale Sand Smelt, Atherina boyeri, as a Potential Complementary Tool for Early Detection of Effects of Anthropic Pressure in Coastal Lagoons

Dipartimento di Biologia—Università degli Studi di Roma “Tor Vergata”, Via della Ricerca Scientifica 1, 00133 Rome, Italy
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Water 2021, 13(2), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13020159
Received: 30 November 2020 / Revised: 6 January 2021 / Accepted: 9 January 2021 / Published: 12 January 2021
Mediterranean coastal lagoons are increasingly affected by several threats, all concurrently leading to habitat degradation and loss. Methods based on fish for the assessment of the ecological status are under implementation for the Water Framework Directive requirements, to assess the overall quality of coastal lagoons. Complementary tools based on the use of single fish species as biological indicators could be useful as early detection methods of anthropogenic impacts. The analysis of skeletal anomalies in the big-scale sand smelt, Atherina boyeri, from nine Mediterranean coastal lagoons in Italy was carried out. Along with the morphological examination of fish, the environmental status of the nine lagoons was evaluated using a method based on expert judgement, by selecting and quantifying several environmental descriptors of direct and indirect human pressures acting on lagoon ecosystems. The average individual anomaly load and the frequency of individuals with severe anomalies allow to discriminate big-scale sand smelt samples on the basis of the site and of its quality status. Furthermore, a relationship between skeletal anomalies and the environmental quality of specific lagoons, driven by the anthropogenic pressures acting on them, was found. These findings support the potentiality of skeletal anomalies monitoring in big-scale sand smelt as a tool for early detection of anthropogenic impacts in coastal lagoons of the Mediterranean region. View Full-Text
Keywords: biological indicator; anthropogenic impacts; mediterranean coastal lagoons; resident species; skeletal anomalies biological indicator; anthropogenic impacts; mediterranean coastal lagoons; resident species; skeletal anomalies
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MDPI and ACS Style

Leone, C.; De Luca, F.; Ciccotti, E.; Martini, A.; Boglione, C. Monitoring Skeletal Anomalies in Big-Scale Sand Smelt, Atherina boyeri, as a Potential Complementary Tool for Early Detection of Effects of Anthropic Pressure in Coastal Lagoons. Water 2021, 13, 159. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13020159

AMA Style

Leone C, De Luca F, Ciccotti E, Martini A, Boglione C. Monitoring Skeletal Anomalies in Big-Scale Sand Smelt, Atherina boyeri, as a Potential Complementary Tool for Early Detection of Effects of Anthropic Pressure in Coastal Lagoons. Water. 2021; 13(2):159. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13020159

Chicago/Turabian Style

Leone, Chiara; De Luca, Francesca; Ciccotti, Eleonora; Martini, Arianna; Boglione, Clara. 2021. "Monitoring Skeletal Anomalies in Big-Scale Sand Smelt, Atherina boyeri, as a Potential Complementary Tool for Early Detection of Effects of Anthropic Pressure in Coastal Lagoons" Water 13, no. 2: 159. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13020159

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