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Rendiconti Lincei. Scienze Fisiche e Naturali

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 583–588 | Cite as

Know the distribution to assess the changes: Mediterranean cold-water coral bioconstructions

  • Giovanni ChimientiEmail author
  • Marzia Bo
  • Francesco Mastrototaro
Changes and Crises in the Mediterranean Sea

Abstract

Cold-water corals (CWCs) are the main engineers of extensive deep coral frameworks hosting a lush diversity of species in certain areas of the world, including the Mediterranean Sea. In this basin, the most important bioconstructor species are the so-called “white corals”, i.e. the colonial scleractinians Madrepora oculata and Lophelia pertusa as well as the solitary coral Desmophyllum dianthus. Anthropogenic impacts (e.g., fishing pressure) and human-induced changes (e.g., rising temperatures and ocean acidification) are known to affect these important deep-sea bioconstructors. The present paper provides an overview of the horizontal and vertical distribution of white corals in the Mediterranean Sea. The knowledge of the present distribution of living CWCs represents a crucial baseline to understand how anthropogenic and natural changes are affecting these deep Mediterranean habitats.

Keywords

Deep sea White corals Distribution Biogeography Mediterranean Sea 

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Copyright information

© Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Biologia e CoNISMa LRUUniversità degli Studi di Bari Aldo MoroBariItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, dell’Ambiente e della VitaUniversità degli Studi di GenovaGenovaItaly

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