Skip to main content

Biodiversity and habitat mapping of Menorca Channel (western Mediterranean): implications for conservation

Abstract

Menorca Channel (Balearic Islands, western Mediterranean) comprises 98,700 Ha of continental shelf. It has been proposed to include this area in the Natura 2000 network due to the wide range of species and habitats of high conservation value found here, such as Posidonia oceanica meadows and maërl and coralligenous beds. This study aimed to establish a scientific basis for managing and protecting the continental shelf bottoms in Menorca Channel. Sampling was carried out with side-scan sonar, beam trawls, box corers, a remote-operated vehicle and an underwater drop camera. The information collected was used to map the habitat distribution between 50 and 100 m depth, as well as make an inventory and describe the spatial patterns of both the specific and functional diversity. A total of 636 species was recorded in a mosaic of habitats in which Corallinacea calcareous algae and other soft red algae (Osmundaria volubilis and Peyssonnelia spp.) were the most abundant groups. Hotspots of specific and functional diversity were located in areas with high habitat heterogeneity and complexity. Protection of Menorca Channel should not only include the habitats and species in the European directives, but also the habitats that are not currently protected, such as O. volubilis and Peyssonnelia beds, due to their biogeographical and ecological interest and their contribution to the biodiversity of shelf bottoms in the Mediterranean Sea.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6

References

  • Abdulla A, Gomei M, Hyrenbach D, Notarbartolo-di-Sciara G, Agardy T (2009) Challenges network of representative marine protected areas in the Mediterranean: prioritizing the protection of underrepresented habitats. ICES J Mar Sci 66:22–28

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Acosta A, Canals M, López-Martínez J, Muñoz A, Herranz P, Urgeles R, Palomo C, Casamor JL (2002) The Balearic Promontory geomorphology (western Mediterranean): morphostructure and active processes. Geomorph 49:177–204

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Agardy T (2000) Information needs for marine protected areas: scientific and societal. Bull Mar Sci 66:875–888

    Google Scholar 

  • Airamè S, Dugan JE, Lafferty KD, Leslie HM, McArdle DA, Warner RR (2003) Applying ecological criteria to marine reserve design: a case study from the California Channel Islands. Ecol Appl 13:S170–S184

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Airoldi L, Beck M (2007) Loss, Status and Trends for coastal marine habitats of Europe. Oceanogr Mar Biol Ann Rev 45:345–405

    Google Scholar 

  • Alonso B, Guillen J, Canals M, Serra J, Acosta JO, Herranz P, Sanz JL, Calafat A, Catafau E (1988) Los Sedimentos De La Plataforma Continental Balear. Acta Geol Hisp 23:185–196

    Google Scholar 

  • ANZECC Task Force on Marine Protected Areas (1998) Guidelines for establishing the national representative system of marine protected areas. Strategic plan of action for the national representative system of marine protected areas. A guide for action by Australian Governments. Environment Australia, Canberra, July 1999

  • Ardizzone GD (2006) An introduction to sensitive and essential fish habitats identification and protection in the Mediterranean Sea. Working Document to the STECF/SGMED-06-01 sub-group meeting on sensitive and essential fish habitats in the Mediterranean, Rome, March 2006

  • Auster PJ, Langton RW (1999) The effects of fishing on fish habitat. Am Fish Soc Symp 22:1–38

    Google Scholar 

  • Auster PJ, Malatesta RJ, Langton RW, Watting L, Valentine PC, Donaldson CLS, Langton EW, Shepard AN, Babb WG (1996) The impacts of mobile fishing gear on seafloor habitats in the gulf of Maine (Northwest Atlantic): Implications for conservation of fish populations. Rev Fish Sci 4(2):185–202

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Badalamenti F, Ramos-Esplá A, Voultsiadou E, Sanchez-Lisazo JL, D’Anna G, Pipitone C, Mas J, Ruiz Fernandez JA, Whitmarsh D, Riggio S (2000) Cultural and socio-economic impacts of Mediterranean marine protected areas. Env Conserv 27(2):1–16

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ballesteros E (1988) Composición y estructura de los fondos de maërl de Tossa de Mar (Girona, España). Collect Bot 17:161–182

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ballesteros E (1992) Els fons rocosos profunds amb Osmundaria volubilis (Linné) RE Norris a les Balears. Boll Soc Hist Nat de les Balears 35:33–50

    Google Scholar 

  • Ballesteros Z (1993) El bentos: el marc físic. In: Alcover JA, Ballesteros E, Fornós JJ (eds) Història Natural de l’arxipèlag de Cabrera. CSIC-Moll, Palma de Mallorca, pp 663–685

    Google Scholar 

  • Ballesteros E (1994) The deep-water Peyssonnelia beds from the Balearic Islands (western Mediterranean). Mar Ecol-Pubbl Staz Zool di Napoli I 15:233–253

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ballesteros E (2006) Mediterranean coralligenous assemblages: a synthesis of the present knowledge. Oceanogr Mar Biol Annu Rev 4:123–195

    Google Scholar 

  • Ballesteros E, Romero J (1982) Catálogo de las algas bentónicas (con exclusión de las diatomeas) de las costa catalana. Collect Bot 13(2):723–765

    Google Scholar 

  • Barberá C, Bordehore C, Borg JA, Glemarec M, Grall J, Hall-Spencer J, De La Huz C, Lanfranco E, Lastra M, Moore PG, Mora J, Pita ME, Ramos-Espla AA, Rizzo M, Sanchez-Mata A, Seva A, Schembri PJ, Valle C (2003) Conservation and management of northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean maerl beds. Aquat Conserv Mar Freshw Ecosyst 13(S1):S65–S76

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Barberá C, Fernández-Jover D, López Jiménez JA, González Silvera D, Hinz H, Moranta J (2011) Trophic ecology of the sea urchin Spatangus purpureus elucidated from gonad fatty acids composition analysis. Mar Env Res 71:235–246

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Barmes PW, Thomas JP (eds) (2005) Benthic habitats and the effects of fishing. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD

  • Batala D, Piazzi L, Cecchi E, Cinelli F (2005) Variability of Mediterranean coralligenous assemblages subject to local variation in sediment deposition. Mar Env Res 60:403–421

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Bauchot ML, Saldanha L (1986) Fishes of the northeastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. UNESCO, Paris

    Google Scholar 

  • Bell JJ (2007) Costranting patterns of species and functional composition of coral reefs sponge assemblages. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 339:73–81

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bell SB, McCoy ED, Mushinsky HR (2001) Habitat structure, the physical arrangement of objects in space. Chapman & Hall, London

    Google Scholar 

  • Bengtsson J (1998) Which species? What kind of diversity? Which ecosystem function? Some problems in studies of relations between biodiversity and ecosystem function. Appl Soil Ecol 10:191–199

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Berrill NJ (1950) The tunicata. With an account of British species. Ray Society, London

    Google Scholar 

  • BIOMAËRL Team (1999) Final report (in 2 vols). BIOMAËRL project: Maërl biodiversity; functional structure and anthropogenic impacts. University Marine Biological Station Millport, Scotland

  • Birkett DA, Maggs CA, Dring MJ (1998) Maerl, vol V. An overview of dynamic and sensitivity characteristics for conservation management of marine SACs. UK Marine SACs Project. Scottish Association for Marine Science, Oban

  • Boero F (2001) Light after dark: the partnership for enhancing expertise in taxonomy. Trends Ecol Evol 16:266

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Boero F, Bonsdorff E (2007) A conceptual framework for marine biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Mar Ecol 28:134–145

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bolam SG, Fernandes TF (2002) Dense aggregations of tube building polychaetes: response to small-scale disturbances. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 269:197–222

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bonsdorff E, Pearson TH (1999) Variation in the sublittoral macrozoobenthos of the Baltic Sea along environmental gradients: a functional-group approach. Aust J Ecol 24:312–326

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bordehore C, Ramos-Espla AA, Riosmena-Rodriduez R (2003) Comparative study of two maerl beds with different otter trawling history, southeast Iberian Peninsula. Aquat Conserv Mar Freshw Ecosyst 13:S43–S54

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bosence DWJ (1976) Ecological studies on two unattached coralline algae from western Ireland. Palaeontology 19:365–395

    Google Scholar 

  • Botsford LW, Brumbaugh DR, Grimes C, Kellner JB, Largier J, O’Farrell MR, Ralston S, Soulanille E, Wespestad V (2009) Connectivity, sustainability, and yield: bridging the gap between conventional fisheries management and marine protected areas. Rev Fish Biol Fish 19(1):69–95

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Boyd SE, Coggan RA, Birchenough SNR, Limpenny DS, Eastwood PE, Foster-Smith RL, Philpott S, Meadows WJ, James JWC, Vanstaen K, Soussi S, Rogers S (2006) The role of seabed mapping techniques in environmental monitoring and management. Science series technical report no. 127. CEFAS, Lowestoft

  • Bremner J (2008) Species’ traits and ecological functioning in marine conservation and management. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 366:37–47

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bremner J, Frid CLJ, Rogers SI (2003a) Assessing marine ecosystem health: the long term effects of fishing on functional biodiversity in North Sea benthos. Aquat Ecosyst Health Manag 6(2):131–137

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bremner J, Rogers SI, Frid CLJ (2003b) Assesing functional diversity in marine benthic ecosystems: a comparison of approaches. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 254:11–25

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Buchanan JB (1984) Sediment analysis. In: Holme NA, McIntyre AD (eds) Methods for the study of marine benthos. Blacwell Scientific Publicacions, Boston, MA

    Google Scholar 

  • Campbell ML, Hewitt CL (2006) A hierarchical framework to aid biodiversity assessment for coastal zone management and marine protected area selection. Ocean Coast Manag 49:133–146

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Canals M, Ballesteros E (1997) Production of carbonate particles by phytobenthic communities on the Mallorca-Menorca shelf, northwestern Mediterranean Sea. Deep-Sea Res II 44(3):611–629

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cardona L, López D, Sales M, De Caralt S, Díez I (2007) Effects of recreational fishing on three fish species from the Posidonia oceanica meadows off Minorca (Balearic archipelago, western Mediterranean). Sci Mar 71(4):811–820

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Clarke KR, Ainsworth M (1993) A method of linking multivariate community structure to environmental variables. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 92:205–219

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Clarke KR, Gorley RN (2006) PRIMER v6: user manual/tutorial. PRIMER-E, Plymouth

    Google Scholar 

  • Clarke KR, Warwick RM (2001) Changes in marine communities: an approach to statistical analysis and interpretation. Natural Environment Research Council, PRIMER-E, Plymouth

    Google Scholar 

  • Clarke KR, Somerfield PJ, Gorley RN (2008) Testing of null hypotheses in exploratory community analyses: similarity profiles and biota-environment linkage. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 366(1–2):56–69

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cochrane GR (2008) Video-supervised classification of sonar data for mapping seafloor habitat. In: Reynolds JR, Greene HG (eds) Marine habitat mapping technology for Alaska. University of Alaska Fairbanks, Alaska Sea Grant College Program, Fairbanks

    Google Scholar 

  • Coma R, Linares C, Ribes M, Diaz D, Garrabou J, Ballesteros E (2006) Consequences of a mass mortality in populations of Eunicella singularis (Cnidaria: Octocorallia) in Menorca (NW Mediterranean). Mar Ecol Prog Ser 327:51–60

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Connor D (2005) EUNIS marine habitat classification: application, testing and improvement. Report of “Mapping European Seabed Habitats (MESH)” Project. www.searchmesh.net

  • Cosentino A, Giacobbe S (2006) A case study of mollusc and polychaete soft-bottom assemblages submitted to sedimentary instability in the Mediterranean Sea. Mar Ecol 27:170–183

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Costello MJ, Bouchet P, Emblow CS, Legakis A (2006) European marine biodiversity inventory and taxonomic resources: state of the art and gaps in knowledge. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 316:257–268

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • D’Angelo G, Gargiullo S (1978) Guida alle Conchiglie Mediterranee. Milano, Fabbri Editori

    Google Scholar 

  • Dalleau M, Andréfouät S, Wabnitz CCC, Payri C, Wantiez L, Pichon M, Friedman K, Vigliola L, Benzoni F (2010) Use of habitats as surrogates of biodiversity for efficient coral reef conservation planning in Pacific Ocean Islands. Conserv Biol 24(2):541–552

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Davies CE, Moss D, Hill MO (2004) EUNIS Habitat Classification revised. Report to European Environment Agency. European Topic Centre on Nature Protection and Biodiversity, Paris. http://eunis.eea.eu.int/index.jsp

  • Day J, Fernandes L, Lewis A, De’ath G, Slegers S, Barnett B, Kerrigan B, Breen D, Innes J, Oliver J, Ward T, Lowe D (2000). The representative areas program for protecting biodiversity in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. In: Proceedings 9th international coral reef symposium, Bali, Indonesia, 23–27 October 2000

  • Dayton PK, Thrush SF, Agardy TM, Hof-man RJ (1995) Environmental effects of fishing. Aquat Conserv Mar Freshw Ecosyst 5:205–232

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • De Grave S (1999) The influence of sedimentary heterogeneity on within maërl bed differences in infaunal crustacean community. Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 49:153–163

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • De Grave S, Whitaker A (1999) A census of maërl beds in Irish waters. Aquat Conserv Mar Freshw Ecosyst 9:303–311

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • De Juan S, Thrush SF, Demestre M (2007) Functional changes as indicators of trawling disturbance on a benthic community located in a fishing ground (NW Mediterranean Sea). Mar Ecol Prog Ser 334:117–129

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • De O Figueiredo MA, de Santos Menezes K, Costa-Paiva EM et al (2007) Experimental evaluation of rhodoliths as living substrata for infauna at the Abrolhos Bank, Brazil. Ciencias Marinas 33:427–440

    Google Scholar 

  • Deudero S, Morey G, Frau A, Moranta J, Moreno I (2008) Temporal trends of littoral fishes at deep Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadows in a temperate coastal zone. J Mar Syst 70:182–195

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Díaz-Valdés M (2009) Evaluación del impacto de la pesca de arrastre sobre las comunidades de fondos blandos en la provincia de Alicante mediante bioindicadores (Ascidiofauna). Instituto Alicantino de Cultura Juan Gil-Albert; Diputación de Alicante

  • Donnan DW y Moore PG (2003b) Special issue: International Workshop on the conservation and management of maërl, 23–27 February 2001, University Marine Biological Station, Millport, Isle of Cumbrae, Scotland. Conclusions. Aquat Conserv Mar Freshw Ecosyst 13:S77–S78

  • Donnan DW, Moore PG (2003a) Special issue: international workshop on the conservation and management of maërl, 23–27 February 2001. University Marine Biological Station, Millport, Isle of Cumbrae. Introduction. Aquatic Conserv Mar Freshw Ecosyst 13:S1–S3

  • Ellingsen KE, Hewitt JE, Thrush SF (2007) Rare species, habitat diversity and functional redundancy in marine benthos. J Sea Res 58:291–301

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Estrada M (1996) Primary production in the northwestern Mediterranean. Sci Mar 60(Suppl 2):55–64

    Google Scholar 

  • Everett RA (1994) Macroalgae in marine soft-sediment communities: effects on benthic faunal assemblages. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 175:253–274

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Fischer W, Schneider M, Bauchot ML (1987) Guide FAO d’Identification des Espèces pour les Besoins de la Pêche Méditerranée et Mer Noire - Zone de Pêche 37. Volume I. Vegetaux et Invertebres. Volume2. Vertebrates. Organisation des Nations Unies pour L’Alimentation et L’Agriculture, Rome

  • Fontaine AR (1965) The feeding mechanisms of the ophiuroid Ophiocomina nigra. J Mar Biol Ass UK 45:373–385

    Google Scholar 

  • Foster MS (2001) Rhodoliths: between rocks and soft places. J Phycol 37:659–667

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Freire J (1996) Feeding ecology of Liocarcinus depurator (Decapoda: Portunidae) in the Ria de Arousa (Galicia, north-west Spain): effects of habitat, season and life history. Mar Biol 126:297–311

    Google Scholar 

  • Georgiadis M, Papatheodorou G, Tzanatos E, Geraga M, Ramfos A, Koutsikopoulos C, Ferentinos G (2009) Coralligène formations in the eastern Mediterranean Sea: Morphology, distribution, mapping and relation to fisheries in the southern Aegean Sea (Greece) based on high-resolution acoustics. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 368:44–58

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Giangrande A (2003) Biodiversity, conservation and the ‘taxonomic impediment’. Aquat Conserv 13:451–459

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gili JM (1986) Estudio sistemático y faunístico de los Cnidarios del litoral Catalán. Cnidarios (Hidrozoos y Anthozoa). Tesis doctoral inédita, Universidad de Barcelona

  • Grall J, Hall-Spencer JM (2003) Problems facing maerl conservation in Brittany. Aquat Conserv Mar Freshwat Ecosyst 13:55–64

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Grall J, Le Loćh F, Guyonnet B, Riera R (2006) Community structure and food web based on stable isotopes (δ15N and δ13C) analysis of a North Eastern Atlantic maerl bed. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 338:1–15

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gray JS (1997) Marine biodiversity: patterns, threats and conservation needs. Biodivers Conserv 6:153–175

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gray JS (2000) The measurement of marine species diversity, with an application to the benthic fauna of the Norwegian continental shelf. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 250:23–50

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gray JS (2002) Species richness of marine soft sediments. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 244:287–297

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Groom MJ, MeVe GK, Carroll R (2006) Principles of conservation biology, 3rd edn. Sinauer Associates, Sunderland

    Google Scholar 

  • Guizien K, Charles F, Hurther D, Michallet H (2010) Spatial redistribution of Ditrupa arietina (soft bottom Mediterranean spifauna) during a moderate swell event. Cont Shelf Res 30:239–251

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hall SJ (1994) Physical disturbance and marine benthic communities: life in unconsolidated sediments. Oceanogr Mar Biol Ann Rev 32:179–239

    Google Scholar 

  • Hall-Spencer JM, Grall J, Moore PG, Atkinson RJA (2003) Bivalve fishing and maërl-bed conservation in France and the UK: Retrospect and prospect. Aquat Conserv Mar Freshw Ecosyst 13:33–41

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hewitt JE, Thrusha SF, Dayton PD (2008) Habitat variation, species diversity and ecological functioning in a marine system. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 366(1–2):116–122

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hiscock K, Kimmance S (2003) Review of current and historical time-series seabed biological studies in the UK and near Europe. Report from the Marine Biological Association to the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC Contract: F90-01-563)

  • Holmes KW, Van Niel KP, Radford B, Kendrick GA, Grove SL (2008) Modelling the distribution of marine benthos from hydroacoustics and underwater video. Cont Shelf Res 28:1800–1810

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hooper DU, Solan M, Symstad A, DõÂaz SM, Gessner O, Buchmann N, Degrange V, Grime P, Hulot F, Mermillod-Blondin F, Roy J, Spehn E, van Peer L (2002) Species diversity, functional diversity and ecosystem functioning. In: Loreau M, Naeem S, Inchausti P (eds) Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning: synthesis and perspectives. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 195–208

    Google Scholar 

  • Huston MA (1997) Hidden treatments in ecological experiments: re-evaluating the ecosystem function of biodiversity. Oecologia 110:449–460

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ierodiaconou D, Monk J, Rattray A, Laurenson L, Versace VL (2009) Comparison of automated classification techniques for predicting benthic biological communities using hydroacoustics and ideo observations. Cont Shelf Res 31(2):S28–S38

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ingle R (1993) Hermit crabs of the Northeastern Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. An illustrated key. Natural History Museum Publications. Guide 4. Chapman & Hall Identification, London

  • Jennings S, Kaiser MJ (1998) The effects of fishing on marine ecosystems. Adv Mar Biol 34:203–314

    Google Scholar 

  • Jennings S, Lancaster J, Woolmer A, Cotter J (1999) Distribution, diversity and abundance of epibenthic fauna in the North Sea. J Mar Biol Assoc 79:385–399

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jones LA, Hiscock K, Connor DW (2000) Marine habitat reviews. A summary of ecological requirements and sensitivity characteristics for the conservation and management of marine SACs. UK Marine SACs Project report. Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Peterborough

  • Kamenos NA, Moore PG, Hall-Spencer JM (2004) Nursery-area function of maerl grounds for juvenile queen scallops Aequipecten opercularis and other invertebrates. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 274:183–189

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kelleher G, Kenchington R (1992) Guidelines for establishing marine protected areas: a marine conservation and development report. World Conservation Union (IUCN), Gland

  • Kelleher G, Bleakley C, Wells S (1995) A global representative system of marine protected areas. vol 1. Antarctic, Arctic, Mediterranean, Northwest Atlantic, Northeast Atlantic and Baltic. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, The World Bank, IUCN, Washington, DC, 219 pp

  • Lathrop RG, Cole M, Senyk N, Butman B (2006) Seafloor habitat mapping of the New York Bight incorporating sidescan sonar data. Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 68:221–230

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lawton JH, Brown VK (1993) Redundancy in ecosystems. In: Schulze E-D, Mooney H (eds) Biodiversity and ecosystem function. Springer, Berlin, pp 255–270

    Google Scholar 

  • Lengyel S, Déri E, Varga Z, Horváth R, Tóthmérész B, Henry P, Kobler A, Kutnar L, Babij V, Selinkar A, Christia C, Papastergiadou E, Gruber B, Henle K (2008) Habitat monitoring in Europe: a description of current practices. Biodivers Conserv 17(14):3327–3339

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lewandowski AS, Noss RF, Parsons DR (2010) The effectiveness of surrogate taxa for the representation of biodiversity. Conserv Biol 24(5):1367–1377

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Margalef R (1968) Perspectives in ecological theory. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL

    Google Scholar 

  • Massutí E, Reñones O (2005) Demersal resource assemblages in the trawl fishing grounds off the Balearic Islands (western Mediterranean). Sci Mar 69:167–181

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Medernach L, Jordana E, Grémare A, Nozais C, Charles F, Amouroux JM (2000) Population dynamics, secondary production and calcification in a Mediterranean population of Ditrupa arietina (Annelida: Polychaeta). Mar Ecol Prog Ser 199:171–184

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Naranjo SA, Carballo JL, Garcia-Gomez JC (1996) Effects of environmental stress on ascidian populations in Algeciras Bay (southern Spain). Possible marine bioindicators? Mar Ecol Prog Ser 144:119–131

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Norling K, Rosenberg R, Hulth S, Grémare A, Bonsdorff E (2007) Importance of functional biodiversity and species-specific traits of benthic fauna for ecosystem functions in marine sediments. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 332:11–23

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ordines F, Massutí E (2009) Relationships between macro-epibenthic communities and fish on the shelf grounds of the western Mediterranean. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 19:370–383

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ordines F, Jordà G, Quetglas A, Flexas M, Moranta J, Massutí E (2011) Connections between hydrodynamics, benthic landscape, and associated fauna in the Balearic Islands, western Mediterranean. Cont Shelf Res 31:1835–1844

    Google Scholar 

  • Paine R (2002) Trophic control of production in a rocky intertidal community. Science 296:736–739

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Patterson KR (1984) Distribution patterns of some epifauna in the Irish Sea and their ecological interactions. Mar Biol 83:103–108

    Google Scholar 

  • Pearson TH (2001) Functional group ecology in soft-sediment marine benthos: the role of bioturbation. Oceanogr Mar Biol 39:233–267

    Google Scholar 

  • Pinot JM, Tintoré J, Gomis D (1995) Multivariate analysis of the surface circulation in the Balearic Sea. Prog Oceanogr 36:343–376

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Pinot JM, López-Jurado JL, Riera M (2002) The CANALES experiment (1996–1998). Interannual, seasonal, and mesoscale variability of the circulation in the Balearic Channels. Prog Oceanogr 55:335–370

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ramos AA (1991) Ascidias litorales del Mediterráneo ibérico, Faunística, ecología y biogeografía. Publicaciones de la Universidad de Alicante, Alicante

    Google Scholar 

  • Ray GC (1999) Coastal-marine protected areas: agonies of choice. Aquat Conserv Mar Freshw Ecosyst 9(6):607–614

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Roberts CM, Andelman S, Branch G, Bustamante RH, Castilla JC, Dugan J, Halpern BS, Lafferty KD, Leslie H, Lubchenco J, McArdle D, Possingham HP, Ruckelshaus M, Warner RR (2003) Ecological criteria for evaluating candidate sites for marine reserves. Ecol Appl 13(1):S199–S214

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sciberras M, Rizzo M, Mifsud JR, Camilleri K, Borg JA, Lanfranco E, Schembri PJ (2009) Habitat structure and biological characteristics of a maerl bed off the northeastern coast of the Maltese Islands (central Mediterranean). Mar Biodiv 39:251–264

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Shepard FP (1954) Nomenclature based on sand-silt-clay ratios. J Sed Petrol 24:151–158

    Google Scholar 

  • Steller DL, Riosmena Rodríguez R, Foster MS, Roberts CA (2003) Rhodolith bed diversity in the Gulf of California: the importance of rhodolith structure and consequences of disturbance. Aquat Conserv Mar Freshw Ecosyst 13:S5–S20

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Stevens T (2002) Rigor and representativeness in marine protected area design. Coast Manage 30:237–248

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Stevens T, Connolly RM (2004) Testing the utility of abiotic surrogates for marine habitat mapping at scales relevant to management. Biol Conserv 119:351–362

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Tebble N (1966) Briish bivalve seashells. A handbook for identification. Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History), London

    Google Scholar 

  • Thrush SF, Dayton PK (2002) Disturbance to marine benthic habitats by trawling and dredging: implications for marine biodiversity. Ann Rev Ecol Syst 33:449–473

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Thrush SF, Hewitt JE, Cummings VJ, Dayton PK, Cryer M et al (1998) Disturbance of the marine benthic habitat by commercial fishing: impacts at the scale of the fishery. Ecol Appl 8:866–879

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Thrush SF, Hewitt JE, Funnell GA, Cummings VJ, Ellis J et al (2001) Fishing disturbance and marine biodiversity: the role of habitat structure in simple soft-sediment systems. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 221:255–264

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Thrush SF, Lundquist C, Hewitt JE (2005) Spatial and temporal scales of disturbance to the seafloor: a generalized framework for active habitat management. In: Barnes PT, JP (ed) Benthic habitats and the effects of fishing. American Fisheries Society Symposium 41, pp 639–649

  • Tilman D (2001) Functional diversity. In: Levin SA (ed) Encyclopedia of biodiversity. Academic Press, San Diego, pp 109–120

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Tilman D, Knops J, Wedin D, Reich P, Ritchie M, Siemann E (1997) The influence of functional diversity and composition on ecosystem processes. Science 277:1300–1302

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Tortonese E (1965) Echinodermata. In: Accademia Nazionale Italiana di Entomologiae Unione Zoologica Italiana (ed) Fauna d’Italia, vol VI. Edizioni Calderini, Bologna

  • Warwick RM, Davies JR (1977) The distribution of sublittoral macrofauna communities in the Bristol Channel in relation to the substrate. Estuar Coast Mar Sci 5:267–288

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wassenberg TJ, Dews G, Cook SD (2002) The impact of fish trawls on megabenthos (sponges) on the north-west shelf of Australia. Fish Res 58:141–151

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wendt PH, van Dolah RF, O’Rourke CB (1985) A comparative study of the invertebrate macrofauna associated with seven sponge and coral species collected from the South Atlantic Bight. J Elisha Mitchell Sci Soc 101:187–203

    Google Scholar 

  • Wescott G (2006) The long and winding road: the development of a comprehensive, adequate and representative system of highly protected marine protected areas in Victoria, Australia. Ocean Coast Manage 49:905–922

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Widdicombe S, Austen MC, Kendall MA, Olsgard F, Schaanning MT, Dashfield SL, Needham HR (2004) Importance of bioturbators for biodiversity maintenance: indirect effects of fishing disturbance. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 275:1–10

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wulff JL (2006) Ecological interactions of marine sponges. Can J Zool 84:146–166

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zariquiey R (1968) Crustaceos Decápodos Ibéricos. Investigación Pesquera 32:1–510

    Google Scholar 

  • Zavala M (1983) Estudi sistemátic i faunístic dels briozous (Ectoprocta) dels paisos catalans. Tesis Doctoral. Universidad de Barcelona

Download references

Acknowledgments

The authors wish to thank the MarViva Foundation (www.marviva.net) for providing the R/V MarViva Med and also the crew and all the participants in the sampling and taxonomic classification: Abelló, P.; De Juan, S; Esteban, A.; Fernández-Pulpeiro, E.; Gili, J.M.; Guijarro, B.; Joher, S.; Junoy, J., Ortega, N.; Pomar, G., Ruiz, S.; Soto, J. and Valls, M. The study was financed by the Conselleria d’Agricultura i Pesca of the Government of the Balearic Islands within the Canal Project and in the framework of LIFE+ INDEMARES project: “Inventario y designación de la Red Natura 2000 en áreas marinas del Estado español”. Sonography was carried out by Tecmarin 1990 SL and financed by the MarViva Foundation. The authors also thank the valuable comments made by two anonymous referees, which helped to improve the manuscript.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to C. Barberá.

Electronic supplementary material

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Barberá, C., Moranta, J., Ordines, F. et al. Biodiversity and habitat mapping of Menorca Channel (western Mediterranean): implications for conservation. Biodivers Conserv 21, 701–728 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-011-0210-1

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-011-0210-1

Keywords

  • Biodiversity
  • Conservation
  • Management
  • Seabed
  • Habitats
  • Benthos
  • Maërl
  • Functional diversity
  • EUNIS
  • Mediterranean