Macrofauna assemblages in a XVIIth century shipwreck: comparison with those on natural reefs and sandy bottoms

Rui Coelho Pedro Monteiro David Abecasis Jean Yves Blot Jorge M. S. Gonçalves About the authors

Abstracts

The macrofauna assemblages of a XVIIth century shipwreck off southern Portugal were studied and compared with those of nearby natural reefs and sandy bottoms, by underwater visual census. A total of 11 173 specimens of 224 different fauna taxa and 12 phyla were recorded. Natural reefs had the highest density of specimens (35 122 / 1000 m²) followed by the shipwreck (21 392 / 1000 m²) and the sandy bottoms (3771 / 1000 m²). Three biodiversity indices were estimated (Margalef, Shannon-Wiener and Pielou), with the natural reefs showing the highest values. However, the shipwreck presented values relatively similar to those of the natural reefs for the Shannon-Wiener and Pielou indices. The three habitats were clearly distinguishable by multivariate statistical analysis, with the average dissimilarity between sand and shipwreck, and between sand and natural reefs being much higher than that between the shipwreck and the natural reefs. The shipwreck had higher abundances of some commercially important species, such as the pouting Trisopterus luscus, European conger Conger conger, and common spider crab Maja squinado, as well as some vulnerable and threatened species such as the pink seafan Eunicella verrucosa. The results presented emphasize the importance of this habitat on the southern Portuguese coast.

Artificial reefs; Biodiversity; Underwater visual survey; Multivariate analyses; NE Atlantic


As comunidades de macrofauna de um naufrágio do século XVII ocorrido ao largo da costa Sul de Portugal, foram estudadas e comparadas com recifes naturais e fundos de areia através de census visuais subaquáticos. Foram registados 11 173 espécimes pertencentes a 224 taxa faunísticos e 12 phyla. Os recifes naturais apresentaram a maior densidade de espécimes (35 122 / 1000 m²) seguidos do naufrágio (21 392 / 1000 m²) e dos fundos de areia (3771 / 1000 m²). Foram calculados três índices de biodiversidade (Margalef, Shannon-Wiener e Pielou), com os recifes naturais que apresentarem os valores mais elevados. No entanto, o naufrágio mostrou valores relativamente semelhantes aos fundos rochosos nos índices de Shannon-Wiener e Pielou. Os três habitats foram separados por estatística multivariada, com a dissimilaridade média entre areia e naufrágio, e entre areia e recifes naturais sendo muito superior à dissimilaridade entre os recifes naturais e o naufrágio. O naufrágio apresentou elevada abundância de algumas espécies comercialmente importantes, como a faneca Trisopterus luscus, o safio Conger conger e a santola Maja squinado, assim como de espécies vulneráveis e ameaçadas como a gorgonia rosa Eunicella verrucosa. Os resultados apresentados realçam a importância desse habitat para a costa Sul de Portugal.

Recifes artificiais; Biodiversidade; Monitorização visual subaquática; Análise multivariada; Nordeste Atlântico


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Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    18 Feb 2013
  • Date of issue
    Dec 2012

History

  • Received
    28 Sept 2011
  • Accepted
    03 Dec 2012
  • Reviewed
    02 Dec 2012
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