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Review

Black Coral Distribution in the Italian Seas: A Review

1
CNR-IGAG (Istituto di Geologia Ambientale e Geoingegneria), UOS Roma, P.le A. Moro, 5, 00185 Roma, Italy
2
Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Sapienza Università di Roma, P.le A. Moro, 5, 00185 Roma, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Bert W. Hoeksema and James Davis Reimer
Diversity 2021, 13(7), 334; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13070334
Received: 4 June 2021 / Revised: 5 July 2021 / Accepted: 17 July 2021 / Published: 20 July 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Review Papers on Marine Diversity)
Antipatharian corals are important structural and complex members of benthic communities inhabiting the Italian seafloor. In this study, the distribution of black corals in Italy is reported and mapped for the first time. This review has permitted the identification of occurrences of such vulnerable marine ecosystems along the Italian coasts in a bathymetric range of 42 m to 790 m. Black corals appear to be most conspicuous and widely distributed in the mesophotic zone (from around 60 to 300 m depth), with a major occurrence on the rocky bottom and shoals. This review also highlights that these communities suffer direct damage from anthropogenic impacts (fishing activity and lost garbage). Finally, this study provides evidence that the reported Italian submarine sites associated with the occurrence of black corals probably represent only a small portion of their real distribution. This finding urges the need to increase monitoring efforts to support the protection and the conservation of these pristine species assemblages. View Full-Text
Keywords: Antipatharia; vulnerable marine ecosystems; anthropogenic impact Antipatharia; vulnerable marine ecosystems; anthropogenic impact
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ingrassia, M.; Di Bella, L. Black Coral Distribution in the Italian Seas: A Review. Diversity 2021, 13, 334. https://doi.org/10.3390/d13070334

AMA Style

Ingrassia M, Di Bella L. Black Coral Distribution in the Italian Seas: A Review. Diversity. 2021; 13(7):334. https://doi.org/10.3390/d13070334

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ingrassia, Michela, and Letizia Di Bella. 2021. "Black Coral Distribution in the Italian Seas: A Review" Diversity 13, no. 7: 334. https://doi.org/10.3390/d13070334

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