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International Journal of Ecology
Volume 2009, Article ID 161609, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2009/161609
Research Article

Tyrrhenian Upper Waters in the Ustica Island (Marine Protected Area, Sicily, Italy)

Department of Animal Biology and Marine Ecology, Messina University, Salita Sperone 31, 98166 Messina, Italy

Received 26 September 2008; Revised 20 March 2009; Accepted 19 May 2009

Academic Editor: Joseph Bidwell

Copyright © 2009 Marilena Sanfilippo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The Marine Protected Area (MPA) of Ustica was monitored for the hydrographic properties in the A zone of the reserve during the period from the autumn of 2001 to the winter of 2003. This study is also a part of a great triennal project (2001–2004) “Sistema Afrodite”, that was carried out in all the MPAs instituted in Italy. The parameters examined were treated statistically to show their seasonal variability. Temperature, nitrate, phosphate, and chlorophyll a showed similar trends between winter 2002 and 2003, while differences between winter 2002 and 2003 were noticed for salinity, dissolved oxygen, and silicate. It is postulated that the Atlantic current and eddies along its margin result in variation of the water characteristics in the MPA zone analyzed in this study.