Publications:

Pierdomenico et al. 2016


scientific article | Journal of Marine Systems

Seafloor characterization and benthic megafaunal distribution of an active submarine canyon and surrounding sectors: The case of Gioia Canyon (Southern Tyrrhenian Sea)

Pierdomenico M, Martorelli E, Dominguez-CarriĆ³ C, Gili JM, Chiocci FL


Abstract

In this paper, we used multibeam bathymetry and backscatter, high-resolution seismic profiles, ROV video images and sediment samples to identify the principal morpho-sedimentary features and related megabenthic communities along the upper reach of the Gioia Canyon (depth < 600 m) and the surrounding shelf and slope areas. Interpretation of the multidisciplinary dataset was undertaken to evaluate the relationships between seafloor characteristics and faunal distribution along a submarine canyon in an active tectonic setting. The results from this study indicate that physical disturbance on the seafloor at the canyon head and surrounding shelf, related to high sedimentation rates and occasional turbidite flows, may limit the variability of megabenthic communities. Evidence of diffuse trawl marks over soft sedimentary bottoms indicates anthropogenic impact due to fishing activities, which could explain low abundances of megabenthic species observed locally. The canyon margins and flanks along the continental slope host octocorals Funiculina quadrangularis and Isidella elongata, species that are indicative of vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs) and relevant in terms of sustainable management priorities. At the Palmi Ridge, the occurrence of outcropping rocks and bottom currents related to the presence of Levantine Intermediate Waters, provide conditions for the development of hard-bottom assemblages, including the black coral Antipathella subpinnata and deep-sea sponges fields.

Keywords
Meta-data (pending validation)
Depth range
5- 600 m

Mesophotic “mentions”
0 x (total of 9727 words)

Classification
* Presents original data
* Focused on 'mesophotic' depth range
* Focused on 'temperate mesophotic ecosystem'

Fields
Community structure
Ecology
Geomorphology

Focusgroups
Overall benthic (groups)

Locations
Italy - Tyrrhenian Sea

Platforms
Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV)
Sonar / Multibeam

Author profiles