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Research on Benthic Fauna of Southern Adriatic Italian Coast

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Final Report]

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A coralligenous bank populated by a very rich benthic fauna has been discovered along the Adriatic coast of Puglia Italy, occupying an area estimated at 500 square km, and representing the most continuous and important structure of this kind ever recorded. It forms a belt about 1 mile wide within the isobaths of 10 m and 30 m average and reaches the thickness of 2.5 m above the surrounding sediment. The study of these coralligenous formations indicate that the maximum of light intensity suitable for their development is much higher than previously recorded it also suggests that they do not originate from concretioning of loose material on a soft bottom, but have their base on hard bottom. The structure of the coralligenous conglomerate and of the main elements giving origin to it are described. The meaning of the term coralligenous is discussed in regard to its origin and its use by the authors. The elements constituting the coralligenous population are not exclusive of it, but may be found also in other biotopes lists including 360 species are given and Porifera are discussed in particular detail. Quantitative data obtained through the analysis of the abundance of some species at different stations and depths are recorded.


Subject Categories:

  • Biological Oceanography
  • Physical and Dynamic Oceanography

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]