Landscape Ecology Methods for the Placement of Artificial Reef Units in the Gulf of Venice (Italy)

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ROSSI, A., BOSCOLO, S., FALCONI, A., BARONI, A and CARAVELLO, G., 2011. Landscape Ecology Methods for the Placement of Artificial Reef Units in the Gulf of Venice (Italy). In: Micallef, A. (ed.), MCRR3-2010 Conference Proceedings, Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue, No. 61, pp. 211-216. Grosseto, Tuscany, Italy, ISSN 0749-0208.

The project is aimed to shielding and restoring some peculiar submerged areas, which need to be protected against damage caused by drag-net fishing in the Gulf of Venice. Many submarine outcrops are distributed along Venice’s coast in the Northern Adriatic Sea. They are locally called “Tegnùe”, relatively to resistance that they offered against trawlers nets. They are “beach rocks” or “reefs”, depending on if they are of clastic or biologic origin. This area is a natural marine oasis where many species can reproduce and live. Our on-going research consists of the analysis of these peculiar parts of the Gulf of Venice sea bottom, with the employment of G.I.S. methodologies and Landscape Ecology principles.

Within the 64 km2 of the study area, there are seven distinct Tegnùe: information about conformation, surrounding layer type and granulometry, benthic colonization state were detected for each of them. Moreover in the whole area marine currents are being assessed, along with nautical routes that could have an influence and with seabed background condition. In particular our work consisted of:

At the end we have processed collected data to detect optimal spots for placement of artificial habitat blocks. Furthermore the whole project will lead to a better understanding of the major role played by the sea outcrops as an ecological corridor for marine life and to enhance the ecological colonization by the benthic community. Last but not least, we’ll be able to provide a better assessment about a possible ecotouristic resource for the littoral territory.

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