Animal Forests in Deep Coastal Bottoms and Continental Shelf of the Mediterranean Sea

  • Andrea Gori
  • Giorgio Bavestrello
  • Jordi Grinyó
  • Carlos Dominguez-Carrió
  • Stefano Ambroso
  • Marzia Bo
Living reference work entry

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Several studies using Remotely Operated Vehicles and manned submersibles have recently provided quantitative information on animal forests dominated by gorgonians, black corals, and sponges dwelling at 40–200 m depth in the Mediterranean Sea. These assemblages have received relatively little attention during the last decades due to the fact that they are found below scuba diving depths, and most submersible-based research has been traditionally conducted below 200 m depth. However, these communities are among the most threatened by the impact of fishing pressure, since the larger proportion of fishing activities, especially bottom trawling on soft bottoms and passive gears on hard grounds, concentrate between 50 and 200 m depth. This chapter reviews the recent advances in the study of the spatial and bathymetric distribution patterns of these animal forests, their species composition, ecology, and conservation status.


Gorgonian Black corals Sponges ROV Manned submersibles Mediterranean Sea 



AG wants to thank the support of the Beatriu de Pinos Fellowship (ShelfReCover, grant Agreement Number 2013 BP-B 00074). AG, JG, CDC, and SA want to thank Josep-Maria Gili for his support at all time, the Life Indemares project (LIFE 07/NAT/E/00732) for the economic support, and Gavin Newman, the JAGO team, and the crew of R/V Garcia del Cid for the support in field operations. GB and MB want to thank ISPRA (Rome), University of Cagliari (DISVA), Regione Liguria, Regione Sardegna, MIPAAF, MATTM, and the crew of R/V Astrea for the support in field operations.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrea Gori
    • 1
  • Giorgio Bavestrello
    • 2
  • Jordi Grinyó
    • 3
  • Carlos Dominguez-Carrió
    • 3
  • Stefano Ambroso
    • 3
  • Marzia Bo
    • 2
  1. 1.Departament d’EcologiaUniversitat de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, dell’Ambiente e della VitaUniversità degli Studi di GenovaGenovaItaly
  3. 3.Institut de Ciències del MarConsejo Superior de Investigaciones CientíficasBarcelonaSpain

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