Pattern of distribution and diversity of demersal assemblages in the central Mediterranean sea

  • Colloca F
  • Cardinale M
  • Belluscio A
 et al. 
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See, stats, and : https : / / www . researchgate . net / publication / 222892744 Structure assemblages Article DOI : 10 . 1016 / S0272 - 7714 (02) 00196 - 8 CITATIONS 86 READS 291 4 : Some : Special : Challenges in Ecophysiology - over Francesco Institute - Na… 78 SEE Massimiliano Swedish 129 , 338 SEE Andrea Sapienza 45 SEE Giandomenico Sapienza 91 , 326 SEE All - text , letting . Available : Massimiliano Retrieved : 15 Abstract A highly diversified mix of fish species , cephalopods and crustaceans , together with several macro - epibenthic organisms , compose trawl catches in the Mediterranean Sea . Management of Mediterranean trawling needs a multispecies approach that considers the community and not the single species as the basic unit of the analysis . While many studies have correlated several environmental factors to the spatial organizations of demersal organisms , few have focused on the role of macro - epibenthic communities in struc - turing demersal assemblages . In this paper , the following hypotheses were tested : (1) there are discrete demersal assemblages in the central Mediterranean Sea ; (2) the distribution and diversity of demersal communities does not change on small temporal scales (1 year) ; (3) the demersal assemblages were segregated across both different epibenthic assemblages and depth gradients . Shallow sta - tions were separated into coastal and middle - deep shelf assemblages while stations on the slope formed three main assemblages : slope edge , upper slope and middle slope assemblages . The demersal community did not show a substantial change at the small temporal scale . Sandy , sand - muddy and detritic epibenthic communities characterized coastal shelf assemblages , while epibenthic assemblage on muddy bottoms were dominant in the deeper areas of the shelf . A well - defined difference in macro - epibenthic faunal associations among stations on the slope (depth > 200 m) was not found . Depth appeared to affect diversity of the main taxa of demersal organisms in different ways . Teleostean diversity did not show any trend with depth , the number of cephalopod species increased on the shelf and decreased on the slope while crustacean and elasmobranch species richness increased significantly from the shelf to the middle slope . The strong correlation shown in this study between epifaunal benthic communities and demersal fish assemblages requires the formulation of an ecosystem - based management for the Mediterranean Sea trawl fisheries . The existence of such biological diversity certainly contributes to the Mediterranean ecosystem health and its conservation should become one of the main objective of demersal resources management in the future .

Author-supplied keywords

  • Mediterranean sea
  • assemblages structure
  • diversity
  • fauna distribution
  • macrobenthos

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  • F Colloca

  • M Cardinale

  • A Belluscio

  • G Ardizzone

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