IWA Publishing

Recent papers on marine outfalls

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In a dispersive coastal area under multiple organic enrichment sources, stable isotopes were used to trace organic sources of carbon and nitrogen in sediments and benthic macrofauna. The Bivalve Abra alba and the Polychaetes Nephtys sp. and Pectinaria (Lagis) koreni were reliable indicators of the input of terrestrial-derived organic matter into this coastal area, either originated in outfall sewage discharges or estuarine outflow. An isotopic depletion was observed up to 250 m from the outfall branches, much stronger in the biota than in the sediments. An enrichment of 2‰ in the sediments, and 2–6‰ in the species was noticed in sites located farther than 1500 m from the outfall. Depositivores and carnivores/omnivores gave the best picture of the extension of the sewage dispersion and incorporation into the food web.

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