Is coastal lagoon eutrophication likely to be aggravated by global climate change?
Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
Coastal zones are widely recognised as being particularly vulnerable to future environmental change. Although a significant number of previous papers warn of an increasing tendency in the appearance of eutrophication processes in such systems, very few papers have evaluated the influence of global climate change on eutrophication. In the Mar Menor lagoon (SE Spain), the high biomass of the main primary producer, Caulerpa prolifera Forsskal (Lamououx), covers most of the bottom, and has probably increased the resistance of the lagoon to eutrophication processes through the high uptake of nutrients from the water column and their retention in the sediments, avoiding high phytoplankton densities. Nevertheless, if climate change predictions become true, the current status of the lagoon is likely to collapse, since future environmental conditions could make C. prolifera unable to reach values of net photosynthesis greater than zero, and eutrophication processes are expected to appear.