Biodiversity patterns in Mediterranean coralligenous outcrops

 

IMAGE GALLERY - Threats Fig5

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Threats Fig5

Two major mortality events in 1999 and 2003 affected the NW Mediterranean benthic communities. Around 30 macro-species belonging to five invertebrate phyla (Porifera, Cnidaria, Bryozoa, Mollusca and Ascidiae) suffered evident damage. These events were related to high positive seawater temperature anomalies and prolonged water column stability in the late summer. In 2006, mortality events of minor extension and intensity were also observed. This picture, taken in the late summer of 2006, shows a colony of a red gorgonian displaying partial mortality, with denuded axis and gray-black areas of damaged tissue. Locality: Medes Islands. Depth: 20 m.

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