Communities of Mediterranean lower circalittoral rock
|Red List habitat type||code MEDA4.27|
|Source||European Red List habitat factsheet|
|European Red List of habitats reports|
|European Red List of habitats (Excel table)|
This habitat is composed of hard substrata in areas with low hydrodynamics. It typically occurs on the edge of the continental shelf, on the rocks near the break of the slope and in some areas after the shelfbreak. Because of the depth, macroscopic vegetation is absent. This is the assemblage of the lower circalittoral zone, which characterises the Mediterranean rocky reef, also linking the circalittoral coralligenous and the bathyal habitats.
The characteristic and dominant element of the biotic community of this habitat is represented mainly by erect large sponges such as Poecillastra compressa, Phakellia ventilabrum, Tylodesma inornata, and Haliclona (Halichoclona) magna, yellow cup coral Dendrophylia cornigera, the black corals Antipatharia sp (Parantiathes larix, Antipathella subpinnata), and the brachiopodes Cistella cuneate, Gryphus vitreus and Mergerlia truncata.
Indicators of quality:
Standard biotic and abiotic indicators have been used to describe marine habitat quality. Both biotic and abiotic indicators have been used to describe marine habitat quality. These include the presence of particular species, water quality parameters, levels of exposure to a particular exposure as well as more integrated indices which describe habitat function and structure, such as trophic index, or successful stages of development in habitats that have a natural cycle of change over time.
There are no known commonly agreed indicators of quality for this habitat, although particular parameters may be set in certain situations, e.g. protected features with Natura 2000 sites, where reference values may have been determined and applied on a location-specific basis.
Synthesis of Red List assessment
|Red List Category||Red List Criteria|
|Red List Category||Red List Criteria|
Confidence in the assessment
Pressures and threats
- Mining, extraction of materials and energy production
- Exploration drilling
- Production drilling
- Biological resource use other than agriculture & forestry
- Demersal longlining
- Benthic or demersal trawling
- Benthic dredging
- Removal for collection purposes
- Other (i.e. drift nets)
Habitat restoration potential
Trends in extent
Average current trend in quantity
Trends in quality
Average current trend in quality
Conservation and management needs
Designation of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and Fisheries Restricted Areas (FRAs) in sites where this habitat occurs or extension of existing ones, should be established to create a representative network of Mediterranean MPAs. This will also help monitoring and regulating the fishing effort, especially the establishment of closed areas over part of the distribution of this habitat to protect juvenile and spawning fish and fragile benthic communities.
Regulation of artisanal fishing activities, such as benthic long lines, trammel and gillnets, on rocky areas inhabited by threatened species that are the main component of this habitat should be enforced. This should be particularly encouraged where the habitat occurs near the shore (i.e. western Corsica, the Ligurian Sea) because the habitat is even more exposed and the control of fishing should be easier to manage.
Additionally, assessment for the further inclusion of massive Mediterranean sponges which are associated with this habitat, in the Annex II of the Barcelona Convention should be proposed.
List of conservation and management needs
- Measures related to marine habitats
- Other marine-related measures
- Measures related to spatial planning
- Establish protected areas/sites
- Legal protection of habitats and species
- Measures related to special resouce use
- Other resource use measures
- Regulating/Managing exploitation of natural resources on sea
Geographic occurrence and trends
|Seas||Present or presence uncertain||Current area of habitat (Km2)||Recent trend in quantity (last 50 years)||Recent trend in quality (last 50 years)|
|Ionian Sea and the Central Mediterranean Sea|
|Western Mediterranean Sea|
Extent of Occurrence, Area of Occupancy and habitat area
|Extent of Occurrence (EOO) (Km2)||Area of Occupancy (AOO)||Current estimated Total Area||Comment|
|EU28||1,851,450||3,642||644,686||EOO and AOO have been calculated on the available data. Although this data set is known to be incomplete the figures exceed the thresholds for threatened status.|
|EU28+||5,000||650,861||EOO and AOO have been calculated on the available data. Although this data set is known to be incomplete the figures exceed the thresholds for threatened status.|
EOO = the area (km2) of the envelope around all occurrences of a habitat (calculated by a minimum convex polygon).
|Species scientific name||English common name||Species group|
Relation to other habitat types mentioned in legal instruments
|Legal text||Annex||Name in legal text||Code in legal text||
|Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora - consolidated version 01/01/2007||Annex I: natural habitat types of community interest whose conservation requires the designation of special areas of conservation||Reefs||1170||Overlap||http://ec.europa.eu/environm...rective/index_en.htm|