Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Spatial distribution and habitat characterization of marine animal forest assemblages along nine submarine canyons of Eastern Sardinia (central Mediterranean Sea)

Abstract : Submarine canyons are peculiar habitats of the continental margin due to their hydrodynamic and geomorphological features. Coral assemblages forming marine animal forests (MAFs) are one of the key benthic components dwelling in these habitats, where they enhance the substrate's heterogeneity and provide shelter, feeding and spawning habitats for a wide variety of species. They are also considered Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VMEs), since their fragile three-dimensional framework and slow growth rate exposes them to multiple anthropogenic stressors. Understanding the coupling processes between environmental factors and the scale at which coral assemblages develop in these habitats, is an essential step towards their protection. This study aims to identify MAFs along submarine canyons in the central Mediterranean basin (Eastern Sardinia) on the basis of video transects carried out using Remotely Operated Vehicle and test the influence of environmental variables (silt coverage, distance from the coast, water depth and slope of the substrate) in driving the spatial distribution variability. We identified nine MAF assemblages dwelling in both rocky and silted substrate, from 90 to 220 m depth. We found that the most significant variability in densities and diversity of MAF assemblages occurs mostly within canyons rather than among canyons that are distant hundreds of km apart. Distance-based linear modelling (Dis-tLM) identified silt coverage and water depth as the main factors explaining the observed variability. Overall our study provided new insights on MAFs composition and spatial distribution in submarine canyons which are, in turn, strongly influenced by local physical conditions. Such results emphasized the need for sound in situ conservation strategies in order to preserve MAFs and their ecological role.
Complete list of metadata

https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02987605
Contributor : Lorenzo Bramanti Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, November 24, 2020 - 3:30:06 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, December 8, 2020 - 3:43:23 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Thursday, February 25, 2021 - 8:24:45 PM

File

moccia et al 2020 uncorrected ...
Files produced by the author(s)

Identifiers

Citation

Davide Moccia, Alessandro Cau, Lorenzo Bramanti, Laura Carugati, Simonepietro Canese, et al.. Spatial distribution and habitat characterization of marine animal forest assemblages along nine submarine canyons of Eastern Sardinia (central Mediterranean Sea). Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, Elsevier, 2020, pp.103422. ⟨10.1016/j.dsr.2020.103422⟩. ⟨hal-02987605⟩

Share

Metrics

Record views

125

Files downloads

100