Sara Benelli

Sara Benelli
University of Gdansk | UG · Faculty of Oceanography and Geography

PhD in Ecology
I am currently the Principal Investigator of BUFFER project, a 2-year grant from the National Science Centre at UG (PL).

About

19
Publications
2,870
Reads
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195
Citations
Citations since 2016
19 Research Items
195 Citations
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201620172018201920202021202201020304050
Additional affiliations
December 2018 - present
Università di Parma
Position
  • PostDoc Position
November 2015 - November 2018
University of Ferrara
Position
  • PhD in Evolutionary Biology and Ecology

Publications

Publications (19)
Article
Climate change may dramatically increase nitrate (NO3⁻) production and transport from watersheds to the coastal area due to short-term heavy precipitation events. However, the response of the coastal filter to such pulse NO3⁻ delivery is poorly studied. We measured NO3⁻ reduction rates via denitrification and DNRA in intact sediments collected from...
Article
Full-text available
Organic sediments are greenhouse gas and nutrient hotspots. They may display lower methane (CH4) emissions and increase nutrient retention when macrophytes and macrofauna are present, due to oxygen leakage from roots and bioirrigation. We tested this hypothesis via incubations of microcosms reproducing four treatments: bare sediment, sediment with...
Article
Full-text available
Lampreys spend their larval stage within fine sand fluvial sediments, where they burrow and act as filter feeders. Lamprey larvae (ammocoetes) can significantly affect benthic-pelagic coupling and nutrient cycling in rivers, due to high densities. However, their bioturbation, feeding and excretion activities are still poorly explored. These aspects...
Article
Full-text available
Macrofauna can produce contrasting biogeochemical effects in intact and reconstructed sediments. We measured benthic fluxes of oxygen, inorganic carbon, and nitrogen and denitrification rates in intact sediments dominated by a filter and a deposit feeder and in reconstructed sediments added with increasing densities of the same organisms. Measureme...
Article
Harmful blooms of cyanobacteria may extend over long time spans due to self-sustaining mechanisms. We hypothesized that settled blooms may increase redox-dependent P release and unbalance the stoichiometry of benthic nutrient regeneration (NH4+:SiO2:PO43− ratios). We tested this hypothesis in the hypertrophic Curonian Lagoon, the largest in Europe....
Article
Macrophytes may either stimulate or depress nitrogen-related microbial processes via radial oxygen loss (ROL), production of exudates or uptake of inorganic N. ROL can favor aerobic processes as nitrification, exudates may stimulate denitrification, whereas N assimilation and competition with microbes may depress both processes. We measured rates o...
Article
Hydrological extremes of unusually high or low river discharge may deeply affect the biogeochemistry of coastal lagoons, but the effects are poorly explored. In this study, microbial nitrogen processes were analyzed through intact core incubations and ¹⁵N-isotope addition at three sites in the eutrophic Sacca di Goro lagoon (Northern Adriatic Sea)...
Article
Full-text available
The increasing use of the stable isotope 15N-NO3− for the quantification of ecological processes requires analytical approaches able to distinguish between labelled and unlabeled N forms. We present a method coupling anoxic sediment slurries and membrane inlet mass spectrometry to quantify dissolved 15N-NO3− and 14N-NO3−. The approach is based on t...
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Full-text available
The increasing use of the stable isotope 15 N-NO3 − for the quantification of ecological processes requires analytical approaches able to distinguish between labelled and unlabeled N forms. We present a method coupling anoxic sediment slurries and membrane inlet mass spectrometry to quantify dissolved 15 N-NO3 − and 14 N-NO3 −. The approach is base...
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Full-text available
The North American oligochaete Sparganophilus tamesis is widespread in European freshwaters. Its ecological effects on benthic nitrogen (N) biogeochemistry were studied in two contrasting environments: the organic-rich muddy sediments of the eutrophic Mincio River (Italy) and the organic-poor sandy sediments of the oligotrophic Cazaux-Sanguinet Lak...
Article
• Filter‐feeding mussels couple benthic and pelagic environments and create biogeochemical hot spots. Mussels may exert either top‐down control (via filtration) or bottom‐up stimulation (via biodeposition and excretion) of primary producers. Mussel metabolism may be species‐specific and the disappearance of native species or their replacement by in...
Article
Full-text available
• Aquatic macrophytes modify the sediment biogeochemistry via radial oxygen loss (ROL) from their roots. However, the variation in ROL and its implication for nutrient availability remains poorly explored. • Here, we use planar O2 optodes to investigate the spatial heterogeneity of oxic niches within the rhizosphere of Vallisneria spiralis and thei...
Article
A recent molecular barcode study certified the conspecificity of mutually distant European populations of the limicolous earthworm Sparganophilus tamesis Benham, 1892 with the most widespread species of Sparganophilus in North America, and that all the analysed European worms descend from a recent introduction, probably via one or more point-source...
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Full-text available
Burrowing benthic animals belonging to the same functional group may produce species-specific effects on microbially mediated nitrogen (N) processes depending upon different ecological traits. We investigated the effects of two tube-dwelling organisms, amphipods (Corophium insidiosum) and chironomid larvae (Chironomus plumosus), on benthic N cyclin...
Article
• In shallow‐water sediments, the combined action of microphytobenthos and bioturbating fauna may differentially affect benthic nutrient fluxes and exert a bottom‐up control of pelagic primary production. In many cases, the effects of microphytobenthos and macrofauna on nutrient cycling were studied separately, ignoring potential synergistic effect...
Article
The regulation of benthic nitrogen (N) cycling by multiple interactions among bacteria, macrofauna, and primary producers is poorly understood. We hypothesized that a biodiverse benthic system should better exploit the benthic N-availability and retain N than a simpler one. Retention occurs by avoiding losses both to the water column via increased...
Article
Full-text available
Bioturbation studies have generally analyzed small and abundant organisms while the contribution to the benthic metabolism by rare, large macrofauna has received little attention. We hypothesize that large, sporadic bivalves may represent a hot spot for benthic processes due to a combination of direct and indirect effects as their metabolic and bio...

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Projects

Projects (4)
Project
The main aim of BUFFER project is to investigate the impact of the interaction between climatic anomalies and eutrophication on the capacity of the sediments to process and retain nutrients and contrast their regeneration to the water column (the buffer capacity). BUFFER analyses if and how the capacity of sediments to control eutrophication consequences is menaced by climate change and will disentangle underlying mechanisms
Project
1. To identify the best experimental and statistical approaches to study the links between biodiversity and ecosystem properties. 2. To analyze how macroinvertebrate species and functional diversity shape N-related benthic processes through multiple interactions with microbial communities and primary producers, along gradients of N availability. 3. To verify whether these multiple interactions buffer the effect of environmental perturbations on benthic N cycle, making the paths of this key element more resilient.
Project
While bacteria have been considered driving much of the Earth's nitrogen (N) cycle, recent research shows that ecological interactions between meio-, macrofauna and bacteria are important in regulating N cycling in soft sediments (Bonaglia et al. 2014). The collection of microbes in benthic invertebrates in both N rich and depleted environments reveals a diverse N cycling community (Heisterkamp et al. 2012; Kessel et al. 2016; Petersen et al. 2016; Stief et al. 2017), but: - The N cycling microbial assemblages associated with invertebrate hosts in coastal and estuarine ecosystems are poorly characterized worldwide; -Role of invertebrate-bacterial association in ecosystem functioning remains essentially unknown in shallow estuarine systems. Project task: quantify target microbial N transformation processes in benthic invertebrate hosts and identify specificity of animal-bacterial associations along spatial and physical-chemical gradients (geography and eutrophication). Funding: INBALANCE project is funded by the European Social Fund according to the activity ‘Improvement of researchers’ qualification by implementing world-class R&D projects’ of Measure No. 09.3.3-LMT-K-712-01-0069 Project coordinator: Mindaugas Zilius