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Volume 44 - Number 2 - 2009

Do treatments of sewage plants really work? The intertidal mussels' community of the southwestern Atlantic shore (38ºS, 57ºW) as a case study

Rodolfo Elías1, María S. Rivero1, María A. Sanchez1, Lourdes Jaubet1 and Eduardo A. Vallarino1


1Departamento de Ciencias Marinas -Bioindicadores Bentónicos. Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata Deán Funes 3350 B 7602 AYL, Mar del Plata, Argentina




To test the effect of the treatment plant of the Mar del Plata city, a series of samplings were carried out in the mussel beds around the sewage effluent. The hypothesis is that this treatment plant produces an effective mitigation process in the health of the environment, and cover and quantitative methods produce similar results being both useful for assessing sewage impact in intertidal mussels' community. Samplings were performed in four locations (Impacted, North, South and Control) and three stations were placed into each location. Replicated cover (ten 0.5 m2 squares) and quantitative (four 78 cm2 corers) data were obtained in each station four times during 2004, before and after each of the two stops of the treatment plant for maintenance. Analyses included non-parametric and parametric methods for both cover and quantitative data. Results showed significant differences in both cover and quantitative data for Before-After and among locations, in both parametric and non-parametric analyses. The functioning of the treatment plant has a significant effect on the health of the environment, as shown by the structure of the intertidal benthic community


Key words: Mussel beds, sewage impact, SW Atlantic rocky shores



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