This study assesses the effects of dredged material disposal in a recurrent marine dump near the Guadalquivir Estuary (south-western Spain). We compared the changes observed with two reference areas combining a classical ecological approach with new stable isotope techniques to analyse trophic structure. We detected permanent changes in the macrofaunal community structure as well as in the diversity and biotic indices applied, which showed higher values in the disposal area. The community in the marine dump had lost the natural temporal variations observed in the reference areas. These effects could be due to the last disposal event carried out in the summer of 2015 or to the recurrent disposals since 2010. Despite the structural changes shown by the benthic community, these impacts were not reflected in the food web structure of the marine dump. Our results confirm the high variability of disposal disturbances. Hence, we recommend performing studies in every disposal event, merging different functional and structural approaches.
Marine Environmental Research – Elsevier
Published: Aug 1, 2018
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