Snapshot of Macroalgae and Fish Assemblages in Temperate Reefs in the Southern European Atlantic Ecoregion
CIIMAR/CIMAR—Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research, University of Porto, 4450-208 Matosinhos, Portugal
MARE—Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, ESTM, Instituto Politécnico de Leiria, 2520-620 Peniche, Portugal
FCUP—Faculty of Sciences, Department of Biology, University of Porto, 4150-179 Porto, Portugal
CCMAR—Center of Marine Sciences of Algarve, University of Algarve, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Diversity 2020, 12(1), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12010026
Received: 14 November 2019 / Revised: 3 January 2020 / Accepted: 6 January 2020 / Published: 10 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity of Macroalgae)
Most of the biodiversity studies in the South European Atlantic Shelf ecoregion are limited to shallow subtidal or intertidal habitats, while deeper reef habitats, also of relevant ecological importance, are particularly understudied. Macroalgal communities, associated fauna, and sea surface temperature were studied in deep reefs (25–30 m) at two locations in this ecoregion: Parcel, North of Portugal (41° N), and Tarifa, Southern Spain (35° N). Specifically, algal assemblages were assessed using biomass collection and associated ichthyofauna was assessed using visual census techniques using scuba. Seawater surface temperature was higher (>3 °C) in the southern region—Tarifa, compared to the northern region—Parcel. Our survey revealed 18 fish species and 23 algae species. The highest abundance of cold-water species (both macroalgae and fish species) was recorded in Parcel and warm-water species were dominant in Tarifa. In light of climate global trends, both regions might experience biodiversity shifts towards tropicalization. Current knowledge on their biodiversity is imperative to further evaluate potential shifts.