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Marine Biodiversity

, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 689–694 | Cite as

Note on new records of living Scleractinia and Gorgonaria between 1700 and 2200 m depth in the western Mediterranean Sea

  • Stéphane Sartoretto
  • Helmut Zibrowius
Short Communication
  • 105 Downloads

Abstract

While living corals were mainly reported to live at depths shallower than 1200 m, their pleistocene fossils in the form of Pleistocene fossils are found at depths of ca. 2000 m in the Mediterranean Sea. This was found after in-situ observations during dives of the Nautile submarine in the Canyon of Stoechade (France). During these dives, living specimens of sea fans (Acanthogorgia hirsuta, Isidella elongata, Placogorgia massiliensis) and hard corals (Javania cailleti) were observed and collected at depths of between 1700 and 2200 m. In an attempt to explain this unexpected find, it has been speculated that general conditions in northern canyons may be more favorable to the deep occurrence of these organisms than the central and southern areas of the Mediterranean, where no living Scleractinia or Gorgonaria have been observed at similar depths.

Keywords

Cnidaria Octocorallia Gorgonian Deep-sea coral Javania Cailleti Mediterranean Submarine canyon 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank the N/O l’Atalante captains and crews for their availability, J P Justiniano (Head of Mission), and the Nautile team (Y Potier and J Fenouil). We are most grateful to Dr. M Grasshoff (Senckenberg Institut-Germany) for his assistance concerning the Gorgonian identifications.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All applicable institutional, national and international guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.

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Copyright information

© Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IFREMERLa Seyne-sur-Mer CedexFrance
  2. 2.Le Corbusier 644MarseilleFrance

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