THE SEA CAVES OF THE MARINE PROTECTED AREA OF PORTOFINO (LIGURIAN SEA): LACK OF KNOWLEDGE AND MANAGEMENT

Magazine
3rd Mediterranean Symposium on the conservation of Dark Habitats (Genoa, Italy, 21-22 September 2022) 53
Autori
Monica MONTEFALCONE, AZZOLA A., CANESSA M., OPRANDI A., MORRI C., BIANCHI C.N.
Editore
DiSTAV (Department of Earth, Environment and Life Sciences), University of Genoa - SPA/RAC Specially Protected Areas Regional Activity Centre
Nazione pubblicazione
Italia
Citta pubblicazione
Genova
Provincia pubblicazione
Genova
Anno pubblicazione
2022
Number
1
Pagine
8
Riassunto
Marine caves are biodiversity reservoirs and refuge habitats, harbouring rare species and living fossils. The Mediterranean Sea hosts more than 3000 caves, which are among the most studied in the world. This review aims to synthesize and update knowledge of Mediterranean marine
caves. Their biota includes few obligate cave-dwelling organisms, but many cryptobiotic or crevicular (crevice-dwelling) and bathyphilic (preferring deep-water) species that secondarily colonize caves. A total of 2369 taxa have been reported from 404 caves in 15 countries, with several species new to science described in recent decades. Dramatic environmental gradients generate a zonation of the biota, with up to six faunal zones and two main biocoenoses. Biotic cover and biomass are strongly reduced inside caves, due to hydrological confnement and trophic depletion. The food web is based on suspension-feeders, but motile carnivores play a role in the importation of organic matter from outside. Lack of primary production, faunal affnities and microbial metabolism make marine caves readily accessible models of deep ocean ecosystems. Future research should focus on flling regional (e.g. south-eastern Mediterranean) and thematic (e.g. microbes, meiofauna, macroinfauna) gaps in fundamental knowledge, and on management measures. Marine caves have low ecological resilience and harbour many species of conservation interest, but are threatened by seawater warming, local human impacts and non-indigenous species
ESTRATTO ARTICOLO
2022 SPARAC Portofino caves.pdf (631.77 Kb | 15 Download)
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Insetito
15/11/2022 14:06:49