From chemosynthesis-based communities to cold-water corals: Vulnerable deep-sea habitats of the Gulf of Cadiz

Autor(en): Rueda, Jose L.
Gonzalez-Garcia, Emilio
Krutzky, Cinja
Lopez-Rodriguez, Francisco J.
Bruque, Gerardo
Lopez-Gonzalez, Nieves
Palomino, Desiree
Sanchez, Ricardo F.
Tomas Vazquez, Juan
Fernandez-Salas, Luis M.
Diaz-del-Rio, Victor
Stichwörter: Bacterial mats; BIODIVERSITY; Biodiversity & Conservation; Biodiversity Conservation; Cold seep; EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN SEA; FEATURES; FLOWS; GROWTH; Gulf of Cadiz; Marine & Freshwater Biology; MOUNDS; MUD VOLCANOS; NE ATLANTIC; Scleractinians; SEDIMENTS; SPATIAL-DISTRIBUTION; Vulnerable habitats
Erscheinungsdatum: 2016
Volumen: 46
Ausgabe: 2
Startseite: 473
Seitenende: 482
The Gulf of Cadiz (GoC) represents an area of ecological importance within the northeastern Atlantic Ocean due to the presence of Mediterranean and Atlantic water masses, a heterogeneous seafloor and a biological confluence. Nevertheless, information on the presence of vulnerable deep-sea habitats is still very scarce and it is of importance for further habitat monitoring within the context of the Habitats and Marine Strategy Framework Directives and for improving conservation and resource extraction management. From 2010 to 2012, fluid migration and emission related edifices (e.g., mud volcanoes, diapirs) from the Spanish continental margin of the GoC have been explored using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV; Liropus 2000) and an underwater camera sled (UCS; APHIA 2012) as well as several devices for collecting sediment and fauna. Different vulnerable deep-sea habitats have been observed, including anoxic bottoms with bacterial mats, sea-pen communities, sponge aggregations, antipatharian and gorgonian communities and also cold-water coral banks. Some of these habitats are included in conservation lists of the habitat directive and in international conventions (OSPAR, RAC/SPA), however some of them are located in areas of the GoC that are exposed to intense trawling. The diversity of habitats detected in the Spanish continental margin of the GoC highlights the importance of seepage related edifices as inducers of seabed and habitat heterogeneity in deep-sea areas.
ISSN: 18671616
DOI: 10.1007/s12526-015-0366-0

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