RESEARCH OF THE BENTHIC FAUNA OF THE SOUTHERN ADRIATIC ITALIAN COAST.
Final rept., 15 Jun 65-15 Jun 66.
BARI UNIV (ITALY) INST OF ZOOLOGY AND COMPARATIVE ANATOMY
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A research on the benthic fauna of Puglies littoral in the South Adriatic Sea, the first in this area, has been initiated and is carried out through diving and dredging. Various stations and different biotopes have been investigated along about 400 km of coast, at depths ranging from 0 to 50 m. The distribution of Sponges has been studied quantitatively and qualitatively, both in the habitats of shallow waterfrom the sunny phytal to the dark grottoesand in those of the circalittoral coralligenous platform, between 10 and 50 m. The number of Sponge speciesmore than one hundredis considerable also in superficial waters, in relation with the general northern exposition of that coast. The number of species of Clionids, which are represented by nearly all the species recorded from the Mediterranean, and their abundance, is very high, this in connection with the calcareous nature of the rocky bottom. The boring Clionids have certainly a primary role in the degradation of Puglies littoral. Another peculiar feature of the benthic communities of this zone is the low depth, 20 metres, and even less, at which they begin to constitute a circalittoral coralligenous platform. Author