Change and Diversity: the Mediterranean Deep Corals from the Miocene to the Present

  • C. Corselli


During the last eighteen million years plate tectonics have deeply modified the physiography and the morphology of the Mediterranean Sea, with changes in basin oceanography, chemistry and biology. The presence and the depth of the western sill made it a semi-closed basin, heavily conditioned by the climate in its oceanographic features. In addition during the Pleistocene, the global climatic deterioration affected the circulation of the superficial and deep waters of the Mediterranean and the composition of its biota. The reconstruction of the chemical and physical characteristics of the deep waters of the Mediterranean sea, by the corals, shows the progressive isolation of the basin during the last 12 million years. Associated to this isolation a progressive decrease in the specific diversity in the deep coral fauna occurs, only partly arrested during the glacial phases.


Atlantic Ocean Late Pleistocene Late Miocene Deep Coral Oceanographic Feature 
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© Springer-Verlag Italia 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Corselli
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Scienze Geologiche e GeotecnologieUniversità degli Studi di Milano-BicoccaMilanoItaly

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