Marine Biology

, Volume 160, Issue 2, pp 371–381 | Cite as

Harbours as marine habitats: hydroid assemblages on sea-walls compared with natural habitats

  • César MeginaEmail author
  • Manuel M. González-Duarte
  • Pablo J. López-González
  • Stefano Piraino
Original Paper


Sessile hydrozoans constitute a common component of marine rocky communities. We compared the hydrozoan assemblages occurring on sea-walls of commercial harbours with those on natural rocky cliffs along the southern Iberian Peninsula, to identify differences in the multivariate structure of the assemblages and species richness. Harbour hydroid assemblages significantly differed from natural ones mainly due to their qualitative composition. Medusa-less taxa, optimized for low dispersal and long-term persistence on the substratum, are barely represented in harbours, but abundant at natural sites. “Port species” assemblages were composed of (1) small, short-living species with typical opportunistic characteristics; (2) cosmopolitan large-size taxa, significantly represented both in harbours and in natural habitats; (3) non-indigenous species. Contrarily to the expected lower richness of communities in confined areas, our results demonstrate that richness of hydroid assemblages in harbours is comparable to that of natural habitats.


Natural Rock Natural Zone Artificial Habitat Multivariate Structure Marine Strategy Framework Directive 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This study has been supported by the projects P05-RNM-369 (Junta de Andalucía), PCI2005-A7-0347 (Spanish Ministry of Education and Science), A/5481/06 and A/8688/07 (Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation), and from the European Community FP7/2007-2013 under Grant Agreement No. 266445 (VECTORS). We thank the Port Authorities of Cádiz Bay and Almería for their collaboration, and the Scientific Diving Unit of the University of Cádiz who assisted us in sampling expeditions and D. De Vito, F. Boero and M. D. Medel, who helped us with the identification of some specimens.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • César Megina
    • 1
    Email author
  • Manuel M. González-Duarte
    • 2
  • Pablo J. López-González
    • 1
  • Stefano Piraino
    • 3
  1. 1.Departamento de Zoología, Facultad de BiologíaUniversidad de SevillaSevilleSpain
  2. 2.Centro Andaluz de Ciencia y Tecnología Marinas (CACYTMAR)Universidad de CádizPuerto RealSpain
  3. 3.Laboratorio di Biologia Evolutiva degli Invertebrati marini, Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie, Biologiche ed Ambientali (DISTEBA)Università del SalentoLecceItaly

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