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Terron-Sigler A.,University of Seville | Casado-Amezua P.,Asociacion Hombre y Territorio | Casado-Amezua P.,University of Alcala | Torre F.E.,University of Seville
Marine Biodiversity Records | Year: 2015

We describe for the first time the distribution and abundance of Oculina patagonica along the coasts of the Northern Alborán Sea (Andalusia Region, Southern Iberian Peninsula), which corresponds to the southernmost region of the known distribution range of the coral. After surveying 693 km of the Andalusia coastline, along three different depths, we showed that O. patagonica was restricted to the eastern shores of the Alborán Sea. It was only present in 7 out of 195 sampling stations in the eastern region along the studied coasts and at the depth range of 0-3 m. Moreover, we observed that the distribution of the species along the northern coasts of the Alborán Sea might be related to substrate availability and sea surface temperature. In the localities in which its presence was described, the annual mean sea water temperature was in the range of 18-21°C. In relation to substrate availability, it must be noted that the distribution of hard substrata - ideal for O. patagonica settlement and growth - along the sampling area, is not uniform in the study area; this might affect the continuity of the distribution of the species. Local studies such as this one are of importance as a starting point for delineating the species' relationship with its habitat, population boundaries and population ecology. Given the fast expansion of this species along the Mediterranean coasts, this study could serve as a basis for continuous monitoring of the spread of the species and its long-term effects on the ecosystem. © Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 2015.


Terron-Sigler A.,University of Seville | Leon-Muez D.,Asociacion Hombre y Territorio | Penalver-Duque P.,University of Seville | Torre F.E.,University of Seville
Ocean and Coastal Management | Year: 2016

Many papers have dealt with the impact of diving activities, although most have been focussed on divers' physical contact and their equipment. Nevertheless, there are more factors that may be affecting the benthic community, for example, environment, diver's behaviour, dive characteristics, or previous knowledge of the diver about the surrounding wildlife. In the present study, several factors have been studied that may affect the orange coral (Astroides calycularis) populations in the North Alborán Sea (Mediterranean Sea). It has been demonstrated that detached colonies are more common in an impacted station than in a controlled station. However, larger sized detached colonies were found in the controlled station, which is probably due to the species growing without impact factors until they reach a size that they become detached naturally. Dimensions studied such as characteristics of dives, diver experience, environmental perception, or previous knowledge of divers are affecting at the endangered orange coral, showing that the characteristics of dives is a more noteworthy dimension. But this, in synergy with other factors, may be the cause of losing colonies. The results of this study are helpful to the managers of marine environment and MPAs, especially where sensitive species are present during diving activities. Therefore, essential diver education programmes must teach the environmental value and the fragility of different species. Protecting these populations should be a high priority of the environment managers to preserve our natural heritage. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.


Terron-Sigler A.,University of Seville | Penalver-Duque P.,Asociacion Hombre y Territorio | Leon-Muez D.,Asociacion Hombre y Territorio | Torre F.E.,University of Seville
Aquatic Biology | Year: 2014

The orange coral Astroides calycularis is internationally protected due to its narrow distribution, its sensitivity to environmental changes and anthropogenic disturbance. Spatio-temporal macrofaunal assemblages associated with A. calycularis were studied along the southern coast of the Iberian Peninsula. A total of 878 invertebrate specimens were collected, comprising 81 species. At the 3 depths studied (0, 5 and 10 m), crustacean species were dominant in terms of abundance, followed by annelids and molluscs. Macrofaunal densities were higher in October and May, and lower in August and September. Janira maculosa (isopod), Lembos spp. (gammarid) and Stenothoe cavimana (gammarid) were the most abundant species, present in almost all depths and months. ANOVA analyses by month reflected significant differences in species richness and Shannon-Wiener diversity, but no differences among depth ranges and no interaction between time and depth. PERMANOVA analyses showed significant differences in the associated macrofauna for time and depth, but no interaction was observed between these factors. These results indicate the ecological relevance of this Mediterranean scleractinian coral as a habitat for many macrofaunal groups. Furthermore, the conservation of this endangered species contributes to the preservation of high marine biodiversity. © The authors 2014.


Terron-Sigler A.,University of Seville | Leon-Muez D.,Asociacion Hombre y Territorio | Penalver-Duque P.,University of Seville | Galvez-Cesar R.,Asociacion Hombre y Territorio | Espinosa Torre F.,University of Seville
Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom | Year: 2015

Human activities have increasingly affected biodiversity in the Mediterranean Sea. Data on the distribution and abundance of species allows researchers to assess the possible degradation of wild populations. These data could act as a baseline to assess the magnitude of the effects of human activities on a bioindicator species. The distribution and relative abundance of the south-western populations of the endemic Astroides calycularis in the South Iberian Peninsula were studied to establish a baseline for future studies. The rocky shoreline was studied at a depth range of 0–12 m, including more than 650 km of Spain's Andalusian coastline. The species was present in 135 of the 585 dive points sampled. ANOVA analysis showed differences in depth in the four provinces studied, and there was no interaction between the two factors. As human activities on the Mediterranean coast are reducing the A. calycularis populations, a baseline on marine populations is greatly recommended for monitoring, assessment, and management studies, especially for endangered or bioindicator species. This baseline could be useful as a reference tool to assess the effects of human activities on marine biodiversity, including global change. Copyright © Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 2015

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