Marine Biology

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 129–145 | Cite as

On the ecology of a North Adriatic benthic community: Distribution, standing crop and composition of the macrobenthos

  • K. Fedra
  • E. M. Ölscher
  • C. Scherübel
  • M. Stachowitsch
  • R. S. Wurzian


The boundaries as well as the macro-epibenthic biomass distribution and composition of a North Adriatic benthic community, dominated by the brittle star Ophiothrix quinquemaculata (D.Ch.), the sponges Reniera ssp., and the ascidians Microcosmus ssp. were determined. Transects totalling more than 80 km (i.e., a recorded area of approximately 150 000 m2) were taken by means of a combined TV- and photocamera sled. The observations, TV-recordings, and photos, together with 392 diver-collected quantitative samples were evaluated. The biomass values were used to establish isobenths. Within the community, the mean biomass, measured as wet weight, amounted to 370 (±73) g/m2 with maxima of more than 1000 g/m2. 64% of the biomass was due to the designating group Ophiothrix-Reniera-Micrcosmus, 87.5% were represented by filter- and suspension-feeding species alone. The mean biomass in the peripheral areas was evaluated at 166 (±62) g/m2. Biomass distribution and composition is examined, and the ecological function and meaning of the observed patterns is discussed.


Biomass Brittle Sponge Benthic Community Standing Crop 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Fedra
    • 1
  • E. M. Ölscher
    • 1
  • C. Scherübel
    • 1
  • M. Stachowitsch
    • 1
  • R. S. Wurzian
    • 1
  1. 1.I. Zoologisches Institut, Lehrkanzel für MeeresbiologieUniversity of ViennaAustria

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