The structure, distribution and temporal changes of epibenthic assemblages of Mediterranean coralligenous reef in the Ligurian and Adriatic Sea were investigated by using a multifactorial sampling design. The distribution of taxa were analysed at scales ranging form hundred of meters to tens of kilometres. Temporal variations were analysed among different years. Percentage cover of conspicuous species have been analysed by means of photographic sampling. Strong spatial patterns of taxa distribution were found among coralligenous outcrops in the Adriatic, while in the Ligurian Sea a strong small scale pattern related to habitat orientation was found. There was some temporal fluctuation in abundance of taxa, but no clear patterns were observed. These results suggest that coralligenous assemblages are a patchy habitat where changes in species composition and abundance can occur at a range of spatial scales, down to few meters, moreover, validate the assumption of the limited temporal variability in Mediterranean coralligenous reefs, possibly related to the slow growth rates of the most abundant taxa and the reduced seasonality of physical conditions.

SPATIAL AND TEMPORAL VARIATION OF ASSEMBLAGES IN MEDITERRANEAN CORALLIGENOUS REEFS

ABBIATI M.;AIROLDI L.;PONTI M.;
2009

Abstract

The structure, distribution and temporal changes of epibenthic assemblages of Mediterranean coralligenous reef in the Ligurian and Adriatic Sea were investigated by using a multifactorial sampling design. The distribution of taxa were analysed at scales ranging form hundred of meters to tens of kilometres. Temporal variations were analysed among different years. Percentage cover of conspicuous species have been analysed by means of photographic sampling. Strong spatial patterns of taxa distribution were found among coralligenous outcrops in the Adriatic, while in the Ligurian Sea a strong small scale pattern related to habitat orientation was found. There was some temporal fluctuation in abundance of taxa, but no clear patterns were observed. These results suggest that coralligenous assemblages are a patchy habitat where changes in species composition and abundance can occur at a range of spatial scales, down to few meters, moreover, validate the assumption of the limited temporal variability in Mediterranean coralligenous reefs, possibly related to the slow growth rates of the most abundant taxa and the reduced seasonality of physical conditions.
First Mediterranean Symposium on Coralligenous conservation and other calcareous bio-concretions.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3357109
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