Coralline algal beds are comprised of biogenic calcareous formations considered a habitat of high conservation interest, hosting a high great biodiversity. To assess the status of this habitat in the Italian seas, we report results from a systematic analysis of the available scientific literature. Italian rhodolith/maerl beds are reported on 31 Italian sites mostly located around islands, shoals, banks, terraces, and gentley sloping shelves, from 9 m to 130 m water depth (with a mean depth of about 56 m). The dominant species occurring in the Italian submarine sites are Phymatolithon calcareum and Lithothamnion corallioides, with a rich associated fauna including sponges, bryozoans, hydrozoans, polichaetes, molluscs, amphipods, gastropods, echinoderms. Despite the high biodiversity characterizing the Italian rhodolith/maerl beds, only seven submarine sites hosting this sensitive habitat are part of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). This evidence highlights the need for actions focused on the implementation of effective management and proper conservation measures to preserve such precious habitats. Protection of this habitat cannot be effectively provided without access to multidisciplinary data (e.g., geospatial, biological, geophysical, geomorphological data) capable of assessing its spatial distribution and biological characteristics over wide areas. An increased research effort to improve the production of fine-scale distribution maps and monitoring activities is therefore needed.

A review of Rhodolith/Maerl beds of the italian seas / Ingrassia, M.; Pierdomenico, M.; Casalbore, D.; Falese, F. G.; Chiocci, F. L.. - In: DIVERSITY. - ISSN 1424-2818. - 15:7(2023). [10.3390/d15070859]

A review of Rhodolith/Maerl beds of the italian seas

Ingrassia M.
;
Casalbore D.;Falese F. G.;Chiocci F. L.
2023

Abstract

Coralline algal beds are comprised of biogenic calcareous formations considered a habitat of high conservation interest, hosting a high great biodiversity. To assess the status of this habitat in the Italian seas, we report results from a systematic analysis of the available scientific literature. Italian rhodolith/maerl beds are reported on 31 Italian sites mostly located around islands, shoals, banks, terraces, and gentley sloping shelves, from 9 m to 130 m water depth (with a mean depth of about 56 m). The dominant species occurring in the Italian submarine sites are Phymatolithon calcareum and Lithothamnion corallioides, with a rich associated fauna including sponges, bryozoans, hydrozoans, polichaetes, molluscs, amphipods, gastropods, echinoderms. Despite the high biodiversity characterizing the Italian rhodolith/maerl beds, only seven submarine sites hosting this sensitive habitat are part of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). This evidence highlights the need for actions focused on the implementation of effective management and proper conservation measures to preserve such precious habitats. Protection of this habitat cannot be effectively provided without access to multidisciplinary data (e.g., geospatial, biological, geophysical, geomorphological data) capable of assessing its spatial distribution and biological characteristics over wide areas. An increased research effort to improve the production of fine-scale distribution maps and monitoring activities is therefore needed.
2023
coralline algae; rhodophyta; precious habitat
01 Pubblicazione su rivista::01a Articolo in rivista
A review of Rhodolith/Maerl beds of the italian seas / Ingrassia, M.; Pierdomenico, M.; Casalbore, D.; Falese, F. G.; Chiocci, F. L.. - In: DIVERSITY. - ISSN 1424-2818. - 15:7(2023). [10.3390/d15070859]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1702198
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