Deep-sea (250–1,550 m) Benthic Thanatocoenoses from the Southern Tyrrhenian Sea

  • I. Di Geronimo
  • A. Rosso
  • R. La Perna
  • R. Sanfilippo


Bathyal benthic thanatocoenoses from 28 stations in the Southern Tyrrhenian Sea are studied, focusing on molluscs, bryozoans and serpulids. On the basis of faunal affinities, sampled stations were grouped into three bathymetrical belts: “A” (248–505 m), “B” (696–1,096 m) and “C” (1,139–1,536 m). Major faunal changes occurred between 500 and 600 m depths (i.e. between belts A and B), due to changes in the dominant molluscs (mainly Benthonella tenella, Ennucula corbuloides, Ledella messannensis, Yoldiella micrometrica and Katadesmia cuneata), bryozoans (e.g. Tubulipora sp. 1 and Setosella folini) and serpulids (e.g, Filogranula stellata and Filograna sp. 1), which were absent in belt A, and increased in abundance in the deepest belt (C). Faunas from stations below 500–600 m may define the typical Mediterranean deep bathyal assemblages. Differences between Pleistocene and Recent bathyal Mediterranean benthos are discussed. We hypothesise that the latter is “residual” i.e. composed mainly by species that endured changes that occurred from the psycrospheric Plio-Pleistocene to the warm-homothermic Recent conditions.


Shell Length Shell Height Extinct Species Atlantic Species Systematic List 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. Di Geronimo
    • 1
  • A. Rosso
    • 1
  • R. La Perna
    • 1
  • R. Sanfilippo
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Scienze Geologiche, Sezione di Oceanologia e PaleoecologiaUniversità di CataniaCataniaItaly

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