23 Corals of Aphrodite: Dendrophyllia ramea Populations of Cyprus

  • Covadonga OrejasEmail author
  • Carlos Jiménez
  • Andrea Gori
  • Jesús Rivera
  • Claudio Lo Iacono
  • Didier Aurelle
  • Louis Hadjioannou
  • Antonis Petrou
  • Katerina Achilleos
Part of the Coral Reefs of the World book series (CORW, volume 9)


The deep-sea of the Levantine Mediterranean basin is still a fairly undiscovered world. The outer insular shelf of Cyprus, a gateway to the deep realm, is not an exception, as very few deep areas in the waters surrounding this island have been explored up to now. Here we present a brief overview of the discovery of an extraordinary population of the scleractinian Dendrophyllia ramea at depths, substrate and densities which were previously unknown for this species. Our efforts in better defining the habitat of this unique and fragile coral population, along with solid evidence of alarming destruction (albeit unintentional) from fishing activity, will hopefully urge local authorities into enforcing protection/conservation measures.


Cold-water corals Deep-water scleractinians Conservation Levantine Mediterranean 



This chapter is dedicated to the memory of Félix Descalzo Gómez a great fellow of many unforgettable research cruises and a close and dear friend. We are grateful to Marzia Bo and Jordi Grinyó for their comments which help to improve the quality of the manuscript. Thanks are due to the scientific team of CYCLAMEN, the crew and HCMR-ROV team of the RV Aegaeo, and the Department of Fisheries and Marine Research in Cyprus. This work has been conducted within the CYCLAMEN project funded by the TOTAL foundation (BIO_2014_091_Juin_CS-8).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Covadonga Orejas
    • 1
    Email author
  • Carlos Jiménez
    • 2
    • 3
  • Andrea Gori
    • 4
  • Jesús Rivera
    • 5
  • Claudio Lo Iacono
    • 6
  • Didier Aurelle
    • 7
    • 8
  • Louis Hadjioannou
    • 2
  • Antonis Petrou
    • 2
  • Katerina Achilleos
    • 2
  1. 1.Instituto Español de Oceanografía (IEO)Centro Oceanográfico de BalearesPalma de MallorcaSpain
  2. 2.Enalia Physis Environmental Research Centre (ENALIA)NicosiaCyprus
  3. 3.Energy, Environment and Water Research Centre (EEWRC) of The Cyprus InstituteNicosiaCyprus
  4. 4.Institut de Ciències del Mar, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones CientíficasBarcelonaSpain
  5. 5.Instituto Español de Oceanografía (IEO)MadridSpain
  6. 6.National Oceanography CentreUniversity of Southampton Waterfront CampusSouthamptonUK
  7. 7.Aix Marseille Univ, Avignon Université, CNRS, IRD, IMBEMarseilleFrance
  8. 8.Aix Marseille Univ, Université de Toulon, CNRS, IRD, MIOMarseilleFrance

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