Bottom trawling in the deep sea is one of the main drivers of sediment resuspension, eroding the seafloor and altering the content and composition of sedimentary organic matter (OM). The physical and biogeochemical impacts of bottom trawling were studied on the continental slope of the Gulf of Castellammare, Sicily (southwestern Mediter- ranean), through the analysis of two triplicate sediment cores collected at trawled and untrawled sites ( ∼ 550 m water depth) during the summer of 2016. Geochemical and sedi- mentological parameters (excess 210 Pb, excess 234 Th, 137 Cs, dry bulk density, and grain size), elemental (organic carbon and nitrogen) and biochemical composition of sedimentary OM (proteins, carbohydrates, lipids), as well as its freshness (phytopigments) and degradation rates were determined in both coring locations. The untrawled site had a sedimenta- tion rate of 0.15 cm yr−1 and presented a 6 cm thick surface mixed layer that contained siltier sediment with low excess 210Pb concentrations, possibly resulting from the resuspen- sion, posterior advection, and eventual deposition of coarser and older sediment from adjacent trawling grounds. In con- trast, the trawled site was eroded and presented compacted century-old sediment highly depleted in OM components, which were between 20 % and 60 % lower than those in the untrawled site. However, the upper 2 cm of the trawled site consisted of recently accumulated sediments enriched in ex- cess 234 Th, excess 210 Pb, and phytopigments, while OM con- tents were similar to those from the untrawled core. This fresh sediment supported protein turnover rates of 0.025 d−1, which doubled those quantified in surface sediments of the untrawled site. The enhancement of remineralization rates in surface sediment of the trawled site was associated with the arrival of fresh particles on a chronically trawled deep- sea region that is generally deprived of OM. We conclude that the detrimental effects of bottom trawling can be tem- porarily and partially abated by the arrival of fresh and nu- tritionally rich OM, which stimulate the response of benthic communities. However, these ephemeral deposits are likely to be swiftly eroded due to the high trawling frequency over fishing grounds, highlighting the importance of establishing science-based management strategies to mitigate the impacts of bottom trawling.

Paradis, S., Pusceddu, A., Masqué, P., Puig, P., Moccia, D., Russo, T., et al. (2019). Organic matter contents and degradation in a highly trawled area during fresh particle inputs (Gulf of Castellammare, southwestern Mediterranean). BIOGEOSCIENCES, 16, 4307-4320.

Organic matter contents and degradation in a highly trawled area during fresh particle inputs (Gulf of Castellammare, southwestern Mediterranean)

Russo Tommaso;
2019-11-12

Abstract

Bottom trawling in the deep sea is one of the main drivers of sediment resuspension, eroding the seafloor and altering the content and composition of sedimentary organic matter (OM). The physical and biogeochemical impacts of bottom trawling were studied on the continental slope of the Gulf of Castellammare, Sicily (southwestern Mediter- ranean), through the analysis of two triplicate sediment cores collected at trawled and untrawled sites ( ∼ 550 m water depth) during the summer of 2016. Geochemical and sedi- mentological parameters (excess 210 Pb, excess 234 Th, 137 Cs, dry bulk density, and grain size), elemental (organic carbon and nitrogen) and biochemical composition of sedimentary OM (proteins, carbohydrates, lipids), as well as its freshness (phytopigments) and degradation rates were determined in both coring locations. The untrawled site had a sedimenta- tion rate of 0.15 cm yr−1 and presented a 6 cm thick surface mixed layer that contained siltier sediment with low excess 210Pb concentrations, possibly resulting from the resuspen- sion, posterior advection, and eventual deposition of coarser and older sediment from adjacent trawling grounds. In con- trast, the trawled site was eroded and presented compacted century-old sediment highly depleted in OM components, which were between 20 % and 60 % lower than those in the untrawled site. However, the upper 2 cm of the trawled site consisted of recently accumulated sediments enriched in ex- cess 234 Th, excess 210 Pb, and phytopigments, while OM con- tents were similar to those from the untrawled core. This fresh sediment supported protein turnover rates of 0.025 d−1, which doubled those quantified in surface sediments of the untrawled site. The enhancement of remineralization rates in surface sediment of the trawled site was associated with the arrival of fresh particles on a chronically trawled deep- sea region that is generally deprived of OM. We conclude that the detrimental effects of bottom trawling can be tem- porarily and partially abated by the arrival of fresh and nu- tritionally rich OM, which stimulate the response of benthic communities. However, these ephemeral deposits are likely to be swiftly eroded due to the high trawling frequency over fishing grounds, highlighting the importance of establishing science-based management strategies to mitigate the impacts of bottom trawling.
Pubblicato
Rilevanza internazionale
Articolo
Esperti anonimi
Settore BIO/07
English
Con Impact Factor ISI
This research has been supported by the European Commission, Seventh Framework Programme (EU- ROFLEETS2 (grant no. 312762)), the Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (grant no. CTM2015-65142-R), the Generali- tat de Catalunya (2017 SGR-863 and 1588), the Australian Re- search Council (LIEF project (grant no. LE170100219)), the Minis- terio de Economía y Competitividad (grant no. MDM2015-0552), and the Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte (grant no. FPU14/07039).
https://www.biogeosciences.net/16/4307/2019/
Paradis, S., Pusceddu, A., Masqué, P., Puig, P., Moccia, D., Russo, T., et al. (2019). Organic matter contents and degradation in a highly trawled area during fresh particle inputs (Gulf of Castellammare, southwestern Mediterranean). BIOGEOSCIENCES, 16, 4307-4320.
Paradis, S; Pusceddu, A; Masqué, P; Puig, P; Moccia, D; Russo, T; Lo Iacono, C
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2108/241066
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