Mesophotic habitats, hosting benthic assemblages totally unknown and unexpected in the early 2000s, are attracting an increasing interest from scientists. Realizing that many long living and habitat forming species are playing a unique pocket of biodiversity in the frame of climate crisis, it is important to recognize the potential of the mesophotic zone in conservation strategies. The mesophotic zone is characterized by environmental factors generally more stable than the shallow counterpart; therefore, it represents a refuge habitat to preserve species that, in shallow waters, may be involved in bleaching events, massive mortalities or other pathologies generally triggered by thermal anomalies. The definition of the mesophotic zone in the temperate seas is confused, creating possible misunderstandings and problems not only from a scientific point of view but also in communication and outreach strategies. Here, we review the scientific literature to build the best definition possible based on the maximum consensus coming from papers analysis. Moreover, the key roles of mesophotic habitats, including ecosystem engineers as animal forests, have been schematized to enhance the perception of the potential risks we are running in case of damage or loss of these habitats.

Temperate mesophotic ecosystems: gaps and perspectives of an emerging conservation challenge for the Mediterranean Sea / Cerrano, C.; Bastari, A.; Calcinai, B.; Di Camillo, C.; Pica, D.; Puce, S.; Valisano, L.; Torsani, F.. - In: THE EUROPEAN ZOOLOGICAL JOURNAL. - ISSN 2475-0263. - 86:1(2019), pp. 370-388. [10.1080/24750263.2019.1677790]

Temperate mesophotic ecosystems: gaps and perspectives of an emerging conservation challenge for the Mediterranean Sea

Cerrano C.;Calcinai B.;Di Camillo C.;Puce S.;Torsani F.
2019-01-01

Abstract

Mesophotic habitats, hosting benthic assemblages totally unknown and unexpected in the early 2000s, are attracting an increasing interest from scientists. Realizing that many long living and habitat forming species are playing a unique pocket of biodiversity in the frame of climate crisis, it is important to recognize the potential of the mesophotic zone in conservation strategies. The mesophotic zone is characterized by environmental factors generally more stable than the shallow counterpart; therefore, it represents a refuge habitat to preserve species that, in shallow waters, may be involved in bleaching events, massive mortalities or other pathologies generally triggered by thermal anomalies. The definition of the mesophotic zone in the temperate seas is confused, creating possible misunderstandings and problems not only from a scientific point of view but also in communication and outreach strategies. Here, we review the scientific literature to build the best definition possible based on the maximum consensus coming from papers analysis. Moreover, the key roles of mesophotic habitats, including ecosystem engineers as animal forests, have been schematized to enhance the perception of the potential risks we are running in case of damage or loss of these habitats.
2019
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11566/276893
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