Stability of spatial pattern of fish species diversity in the Strait of Sicily (central Mediterranean)

  • G. Garofalo
  • F. Fiorentino
  • M. Gristina
  • S. Cusumano
  • G. Sinacori
Part of the Developments in Hydrobiology book series (DIHY, volume 193)


In this paper, species diversity of demersal fish communities was analysed over an area covering about 45,000 km2 of the Italian side of the Strait of Sicily (central Mediterranean). Fish abundance data come from a 10-year series (1994–2003) of experimental bottom trawl surveys carried out within the framework of the international program MEDITS. A simple GIS-based method was proposed to identify areas supporting high or low values of diversity and evaluate their temporal stability. A well-defined spatio-temporal pattern in diversity emerged from the analysis, with some areas of great ecological relevance being identified. Importantly, the greatest diversity within the fish communities was consistently seen at the offshore bank on the western part of the south Sicilian shelf (Adventure Bank). The site also supports high total biomass of demersal resources and shows the presence of species of great concern to fisheries. Results suggest that Adventure Bank represents a priority site for investigating the possibility of innovative management of marine ecosystems and demersal fisheries in offshore zones.


Fish diversity Mediterranean Spatial pattern Stability Strait of Sicily 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Garofalo
    • 1
  • F. Fiorentino
    • 1
  • M. Gristina
    • 1
  • S. Cusumano
    • 1
  • G. Sinacori
    • 1
  1. 1.Section of Mazara del Vallo, Marine Living Resources Assessment (MaLiRA) GroupIAMC — CNRMazara del Vallo, TrapaniItaly

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