Effect of Paramuricea clavata (Risso, 1826) "forest" on the benthic populations of Tremiti Islands Effetto "foresta" di Paramuricea clavata (Risso, 1826) sui popolamenti bentonici delle Isole Tremiti

Magnani, Andrea (2014) Effect of Paramuricea clavata (Risso, 1826) "forest" on the benthic populations of Tremiti Islands Effetto "foresta" di Paramuricea clavata (Risso, 1826) sui popolamenti bentonici delle Isole Tremiti. [Laurea magistrale], Università di Bologna, Corso di Studio in Biologia marina [LM-DM270] - Ravenna, Documento ad accesso riservato.
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Abstract

Mediterranean coralligenous habitats are biogenic reefs characterised by high species diversity and built mainly by encrusting calcareous red algae, growing in dim light conditions. The global climate change and several human activities may threaten species living in these habitats, especially some of those that are considered particularly relevant in structuring and in maintaining the complexity and diversity of the benthic assemblages. Among them, the red gorgonian, Paramuricea clavata (Risso, 1826), which can form dense populations, in the last decades showed worrying mass mortality events. Understand the role of this “animal forests” in the coralligenous assemblages is of fundamental importance in order to design appropriate monitoring programs and conservation policies, especially in the marine protected areas. For this purpose, benthic assemblages were studied in presence and absence of red gorgonians at two sites at the Tremiti islands. Overall, the benthic assemblages significantly differed among sites, nevertheless in both places, clear differences between assemblages associated and not associated to the gorgonian forests were found. In particular, encrusting corallinered algae were significantly more abundant in the gorgonian understories at both sites. This result indicates that the gorgonians may promote the development of calcareous algae, which are the main builders of the coralligenous habitats. Moreover species diversity resulted higher in the assemblages associated to the gorgonians. The present study highlights the role of Paramuricea clavata as a relevant ecosystem engineer in the coralligenous habitats.

Abstract
Tipologia del documento
Tesi di laurea (Laurea magistrale)
Autore della tesi
Magnani, Andrea
Relatore della tesi
Scuola
Corso di studio
Ordinamento Cds
DM270
Parole chiave
Paramuricea clavata forest, benthic population, habitat change
Data di discussione della Tesi
20 Febbraio 2014
URI

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