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Title

The Yellow Gorgonian Eunicella cavolini: Demography and Disturbance Levels across the Mediterranean Sea

AuthorsSini, Maria; Kipson, Silvija ; Linares, Cristina ; Garrabou, Joaquim
Issue DateMay-2015
PublisherPublic Library of Science
CitationPLoS ONE 10(5): e0126253 (2015)
AbstractThe yellow octocoral Eunicella cavolini is one of the most common gorgonians thriving in Mediterranean hard-bottom communities. However, information regarding its distribution and ecology in several parts of the Mediterranean is lacking, while population trends and conservation status remain largely unknown. We investigated 19 populations of E. cavolini over three representative geographic regions: the NW Mediterranean, CE Adriatic, and N Aegean. Focusing on the upper bathymetric range of the species (30 cm). The CE Adriatic displayed intermediate densities, with well-structured populations, and continuous recruitment. In the N Aegean, most populations presented low densities, high proportion of large colonies, but low number of small colonies, signifying limited recruitment. Disturbance levels, as a function of extent and type of injury, are discussed in relation to past or present human-induced threats. This work represents geographically the most wide ranging demographic study of a Mediterranean octocoral to date. The quantitative information obtained provides a basis for future monitoring at a Mediterranean scale. © 2015 Sini et al.
Description19 pages, 7 figures, 6 tables, supporting information http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0126253
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0126253
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/116478
DOI10.1371/journal.pone.0126253
Identifiersdoi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0126253
issn: 1932-6203
e-issn: 1932-6203
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