Bioerosion and bioprotection (bio-remodeling) is the action exerted by biota colonizing rocky shores. It represents an important component among processes responsible for shaping coastal landforms, and a clear evidence of interaction between the biosphere and the solid earth. Barnacles extensively colonize the midlittoral belt of rocky shores in the Mediterranean Basin. Previous research, mostly based on laboratory evidence, suggests that barnacles are bioprotectors, in that they protect the rock surface from different types of physical and chemical weathering. In this paper, we present the results of a field experiment carried out at different spatial scales at two study areas along the moderately energetic and microtidal coast of NW Italy. Barnacles were removed from the sandstone bedrock in replicated plots (manipulated plots) arranged according to a hierarchical spatial design. After four months rock hardness was tested on each plot with both Schmidt hammer and Equotip Piccolo devices, as well as on a corresponding number of control plots. Data were processed by means of a multifactorial analysis of variance (ANOVA). In control plots, rock hardness tested with Schmidt hammer exceeded that measured in previously manipulated plots. Testing with Equotip yielded the opposite results. This experimental evidence confirmed that barnacles play a bio-protective role in the midlittoral at sub-surficial level, while adding the key aspect that this effect is generalizable to spatial scales ranging from a few centimeters up to tens of kilometers. In addition, our results showed, for the first time, that at surface level they can simultaneously act as bioeroders, likely causing corrosion of the rock surface by fostering dissolution of the sandstone carbonate matrix. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.
|Titolo:||Bioerosive and bioprotective role of barnacles on rocky shores|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2018|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|