Coral fauna in the coralligenous community of the eastern Adriatic Sea

Mučić, Marita (2016) Coral fauna in the coralligenous community of the eastern Adriatic Sea. Diploma thesis, Faculty of Science > Department of Biology.

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Abstract

The coralligenous community is one of the most important and most typical when it comes to species diversity in the Mediterranean, which includes the eastern part of the Adriatic. It is characterized by sciaphilic red algae from the Corallinaceae family after which they were named, and which enabled their creation by encrusting calcium carbonate in the circalittoral zone in reduced light conditions. This led to the creation of biogenic sediments with complex structures, containing numerous shaded cavities, holes and protrusions in which there is an incredibly high number of various invertebrate taxonomic categories and species. Research into biodiversity of bentonic communities offers one of the best insights of the extent to which an environment has been conserved, and is the most reliable indicator of negative changes caused by natural and anthropogenic factors. The main causes of a biodiversity decrease in a sea environment are waste waters pollution, global climate change, invasive species, and irrational exploitation of biological resources. Coralligenous biocenosis is considered to be one of the most important hot spots of biological diversity in the Mediterranean Sea. Corals (Anthozoa) which exhibit high sensitivity to global climate changes have great biodiversity within coralligenous biocenosis. Recent massive die-offs, caused by unusually high sea water temperatures, have also been confirmed in the Adriatic Sea. Precisely because of that it is important to posess a list of the coral species residing in the Adriatic Sea, and to track their status in the ever increasing pressure of global climate changes and anthropogenically caused changes. The goal of this paper is to explore the fauna diversity of corals in the coralligenous community at 50 chosen localities (in protected (national parks and nature parks) and unprotected areas) in the eastern part of the Adriatic, and to study their depth distribution. This provides insight into its current state and the degree to which it is endagered, making it possible to plan the protection of these severely endagered and ecologically important species, and also the habitats in the Adriatic Sea. It will feature a comparison of stations according to the make-up and number of coral species inhabiting them, as well as the population number of various coral species at the stations included in the research. An estimate on the presence of endagered and legally protected corals will also be made.

Item Type: Thesis (Diploma thesis)
Keywords: coralligenous, biodiversity, corals, species composition, eastern Adriatic Sea
Supervisor: Kružić, Petar
Date: 2016
Subjects: NATURAL SCIENCES > Biology
Divisions: Faculty of Science > Department of Biology
Depositing User: Grozdana Sirotic
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2017 09:57
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2017 09:57
URI: http://digre.pmf.unizg.hr/id/eprint/5416

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