Re-oligotrophication trajectories of macrophyte assemblages in Mediterranean coastal lagoons based on 17-year time-series

Type Article
Date 2019-01
Language English
Author(s) Le Fur Ines1, de Wit Rutger2, Plus MartinORCID3, Oheix Jocelyne1, Derolez ValerieORCID1, Simier Monique5, Malet NathalieORCID4, Ouisse VincentORCID1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ Montpellier, CNRS, MARBEC, Ifremer,IRD,CS 30171, F-34203 Sete, France.
2 : Univ Montpellier, CNRS, MARBEC, Ifremer,IRD,CC093, F-34095 Montpellier, France.
3 : IFREMER, Lab Ecol Pelag DYNECO PELAGOS, Ctr Bretagne, ZI Pointe Diable,CS 10070, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
4 : IFREMER, Lab Environm Ressources Provence Azur Corse, Stn Corse, F-20600 Zi Furiani, Bastia, France.
Source Marine Ecology Progress Series (0171-8630) (Inter-research), 2019-01 , Vol. 608 , P. 13-32
DOI 10.3354/meps12814
WOS© Times Cited 19
Keyword(s) Submerged aquatic vegetation, Recovery, Nutrient reduction, Restoration, Long-term data series, Resilience, Regime shift, Coastal lagoon

Since the mid-20th century, Mediterranean lagoons have been affected by eutrophication, leading to significant changes in primary producers. In the early 2000s, management actions have been implemented to reduce nutrient inputs with the aim to achieve a good ecological status as requested by the EU water framework directive. As a result of these actions, a sharp decline in nutrient loads has been recorded in several lagoons leading to an oligotrophication of the water column. The analyses of a long-term data set (1998-2015) of 21 polyhaline and euhaline lagoons with contrasting trophic status allowed us to infer a general scheme for the changes in macrophyte assemblages during the oligotrophication process. Placing hypertrophic and oligotrophic conditions end to end, we inferred that the general pattern for the re-oligotrophication trajectory in Mediterranean coastal lagoons is described by the following sequence, with regime shifts between each state: (1) bare non-vegetated sediments, phytoplankton-dominated state; (2) opportunistic macroalgae; (3) seagrass and perennial macroalgae dominated state. However, we did not observe the latter regime shift for the most eutrophicated lagoons, which, so far, remained stuck in the opportunistic macroalgae state. So far, the shift from dominance of opportunistic macroalgae to a system dominated by seagrasses was only observed in a single lagoon where seagrasses had never completely disappeared, which possibly relates to resilience. More generally, the conditions favoring regime shifts from opportunistic macroalgae to seagrasses are still poorly understood. In conclusion, we describe a generic pattern for re-oligotrophication of Mediterranean coastal lagoons, although a full recovery from highly eutrophied to oligotrophic conditions may require more than a decade and may include conditions that remain so far poorly recognized.

Full Text
File Pages Size Access
Publisher's official version 20 1 MB Open access
Supplementary material 13 1 MB Open access
Top of the page

How to cite 

Le Fur Ines, de Wit Rutger, Plus Martin, Oheix Jocelyne, Derolez Valerie, Simier Monique, Malet Nathalie, Ouisse Vincent (2019). Re-oligotrophication trajectories of macrophyte assemblages in Mediterranean coastal lagoons based on 17-year time-series. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 608, 13-32. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :