A unique and threatened deep water coral-bivalve biotope new to the Mediterranean Sea offshore the Naples megalopolis
MetadataShow full item record
The Gulf of Naples is an example of the most beautiful and biodiverse marine regions of the Mediterranean Sea and of the most impacted areas in terms of industrial activities, large contaminated areas, resource exploitation, infrastructures at sea and maritime transportation. We conducted Remotely Operated Vehicle surveys in the Dohrn Canyon in the Tyrrhenian Sea at approximately 12 NM off Naples metropolitan area, and revealed a hotspot of deep-sea benthic biodiversity of sessile fauna at ca. 400 m depth. The hard bottoms are characterized by a high abundance of charismatic species, such as the habitat forming cold-water corals (CWC) Madrepora oculata, Lophelia pertusa, Desmophyllum dianthus in association with the large size bivalves Acesta excavata and Neopycnodonte zibrowii. This CWC-bivalve co-occurrence represents a novel biotope for the Mediterranean Sea, which coexists with the evidence of severe anthropogenic threats, such as illegal dumping and fishery malpractices that were visually documented during the survey. We recommend the adoption of specific protection measures to preserve these unique deep-sea assemblages showing the uncommon co-existence of such a number of deep-sea species in a single habitat.
© The Author(s), 2019. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Taviani, M., Angeletti, L., Cardone, F., Montagna, P., & Danovaro, R. A unique and threatened deep water coral-bivalve biotope new to the Mediterranean Sea offshore the Naples megalopolis. Scientific Reports, 9, (2019):3411, doi:10.1038/s41598-019-39655-8.
Suggested CitationTaviani, M., Angeletti, L., Cardone, F., Montagna, P., & Danovaro, R. (2019). A unique and threatened deep water coral-bivalve biotope new to the Mediterranean Sea offshore the Naples megalopolis. Scientific Reports, 9, 3411.
The following license files are associated with this item: