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Evidences of human impact on megabenthic assemblages of bathyal sediments in the Alboran Sea (western Mediterranean)

Evidences of human impact on megabenthic assemblages of bathyal sediments in the Alboran Sea (western Mediterranean)
Evidences of human impact on megabenthic assemblages of bathyal sediments in the Alboran Sea (western Mediterranean)
Megabenthic assemblages in deep-sea sedimentary environments receive far less attention than those occurring on rocky environments, despite they have been widely impacted by destructive trawling activities, mainly due to their association with important commercial species. ROV dives conducted on bathyal muds of the Alboran Sea continental slope (western Mediterranean) were used to characterize megabenthic assemblages, as well as assess their response to trawling and benthic litter. We identified a multispecific assemblage, dominated by the isidid Isidella elongata, and two monospecific assemblages composed by the sea-pens Funiculina quadrangularis and Kophobelemnon stelliferum. These assemblages are defined as vulnerable marine ecosystems by international institutions. Trawled areas exhibit significant low densities of habitat-forming species and a striking impoverishment of habitat complexity and diversity. Plastic debris and lost fishing gears were the most abundant components of the marine litter. This study highlights the destructive effects of human activities on bathyal muds, emphasizing the need for urgent conservation measures.
0967-0637
Grinyó, Jordi
7e4812d4-3b7d-484d-9118-c6de78977365
Lo Iacono, Claudio
2ec2b5f4-a134-462b-b8ba-f7bd757040f5
Pierdomenico, Martina
cbb45f7a-e2cf-475a-899f-b2163c3002ef
Conlon, Suzanne
1af6d360-1b65-438f-af72-375349ad1da2
Corbera, Guillem
1febfc41-8f18-4d13-ab55-a56640587f81
Gràcia, Eulàlia
4cdbab2b-dd60-496b-aeef-76ae9c30e48d
Grinyó, Jordi
7e4812d4-3b7d-484d-9118-c6de78977365
Lo Iacono, Claudio
2ec2b5f4-a134-462b-b8ba-f7bd757040f5
Pierdomenico, Martina
cbb45f7a-e2cf-475a-899f-b2163c3002ef
Conlon, Suzanne
1af6d360-1b65-438f-af72-375349ad1da2
Corbera, Guillem
1febfc41-8f18-4d13-ab55-a56640587f81
Gràcia, Eulàlia
4cdbab2b-dd60-496b-aeef-76ae9c30e48d

Grinyó, Jordi, Lo Iacono, Claudio, Pierdomenico, Martina, Conlon, Suzanne, Corbera, Guillem and Gràcia, Eulàlia (2020) Evidences of human impact on megabenthic assemblages of bathyal sediments in the Alboran Sea (western Mediterranean). Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, 165, [103369]. (doi:10.1016/j.dsr.2020.103369).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Megabenthic assemblages in deep-sea sedimentary environments receive far less attention than those occurring on rocky environments, despite they have been widely impacted by destructive trawling activities, mainly due to their association with important commercial species. ROV dives conducted on bathyal muds of the Alboran Sea continental slope (western Mediterranean) were used to characterize megabenthic assemblages, as well as assess their response to trawling and benthic litter. We identified a multispecific assemblage, dominated by the isidid Isidella elongata, and two monospecific assemblages composed by the sea-pens Funiculina quadrangularis and Kophobelemnon stelliferum. These assemblages are defined as vulnerable marine ecosystems by international institutions. Trawled areas exhibit significant low densities of habitat-forming species and a striking impoverishment of habitat complexity and diversity. Plastic debris and lost fishing gears were the most abundant components of the marine litter. This study highlights the destructive effects of human activities on bathyal muds, emphasizing the need for urgent conservation measures.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 24 August 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 30 August 2020
Published date: 1 November 2020

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 446154
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/446154
ISSN: 0967-0637
PURE UUID: ddb7c70d-ccbe-40ac-97fc-182adb0f2875

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Date deposited: 22 Jan 2021 17:31
Last modified: 25 Nov 2021 17:45

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Contributors

Author: Jordi Grinyó
Author: Claudio Lo Iacono
Author: Martina Pierdomenico
Author: Suzanne Conlon
Author: Guillem Corbera
Author: Eulàlia Gràcia

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