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An Overview on Biodiversity and Ecosystems Off Mauritanian Deep-Waters

AuthorsRamos, Ana; Pelegrí, Josep Lluís ; Calero, Belén
Demersal fauna
Soft-bottom habitats
Coral carbonate mounds
Deep sea
Northwest Africa
Water masses
Issue Date2017
CitationDeep-Sea Ecosystems Off Mauritania : Research of Marine Biodiversity and Habitats in the Northwest African Margin 17: 615-659 (2017)
AbstractHuman activities in continental margins have progressively increased during the last decades, threatening vulnerablemarine ecosystems in many continental slopes, such as cold-water coral reefs, seamounts and canyons. In order to protect these ecosystems and ensure the sustainable management of resources, countries and organizations should endorse effective policy actions. However, nowadays about only 0.8% of the oceans and 6% of the territorial seas belong to conservation area systems, a lack of protection that is particularly acute in deep-sea waters. The Mauritanian continental margin is the outcome of exceptional marine features, with abrupt canyon systems, sediment slides and a giant carbonate-mounds barrier occurring together. Mauritanian waters have both tropical and subtropical origins, being affected by coastal and offshore upwelling that leads to elevated productivity and abundant fishery resources. Soft-bottom habitats hold high diversity of species, and hard-bottoms sustain assemblages of suspension-feeders and vulnerable species. Nevertheless, despite the recent increase of extractive activities, the location and characterization of those Mauritanian deep-water areas of biological or ecological interest that require protection remain poorly known. The Maurit surveys have offered the opportunity to perform a first approach to the biodiversity and ecosystems in soft and hard bottoms of the Mauritanian outer shelf and slope. This last chapter provides an integrated overview of the demersal and benthic communities inhabiting Mauritanian deep waters and describes areas of particular ecological and/or biological interest that are vulnerable habitats and should be preserved according to international conventions
DescriptionRamos, Ana ... et al.-- 45 pages, 16 figures, 3 annexex
Publisher version (URL)https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1023-5_17
Identifiersdoi: 10.1007/978-94-024-1023-5_17
isbn: 978-94-024-1021-1
isbn: 978-94-024-1023-5
Appears in Collections:(ICM) Libros y partes de libros
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