The term cold-water coral sensu lato groups taxa with a more or less pronounced frame-building ability (e.g. Lophelia pertusa and Madrepora oculata) with forestforming organisms both on hard (e.g. Leiopathes glaberrima, Parantipathes larix, Callogorgia verticillata and Viminella flagellum) and soft bottoms (e.g. Isidella elongata, Funiculina quadrangularis and Kophobelemnon stelliferum). Cold-water coral species and their occurrence in the Mediterranean Sea are here reviewed and discussed from a biogeographic point of view, considering geographical areas of occurrence and bathymetric distribution. The present-day occurrence of living cold-water corals is then compared to the main deep currents of the Mediterranean Sea. Due to the proper interaction between topography and a combination of cold, oxygenated and trophic-carrying water masses (i.e. Levantine Intermediate Water, deep waters and cascading effects), cold-water coral communities develop in a mosaic-like situation along the main paths that such water masses follow within the basin. Finally, knowledge gaps and future perspectives in the study of cold-water coral occurrence, distribution and biogeography are highlighted. The currently still scarce knowledge on the Mediterranean deep-sea and on the basin-scale distribution of the most important coldwater corals species represents crucial biogeographical information. This gives fundamental indications on the location of the Mediterranean vulnerable deep marine ecosystems for future management strategies.
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|Titolo:||Occurrence and Biogeography of Mediterranean Cold-Water Corals|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2019|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||2.1 Contributo in volume (Capitolo o Saggio)|