The study aimed at contributing to the knowledge of alternative stable states by evaluating the differences of mobile and sessile macro-zoobenthic assemblages between sea urchin barrens and macroalgal forests in coastal Mediterranean systems considering a large spatial scale. Six sites (100 s km apart) were selected: Croatia, Montenegro, Sicily (Italy), Sardinia (Italy), Tuscany (Italy), and Balearic Islands (Spain). A total of 531 taxa, 404 mobile and 127 sessile macro-invertebrates were recorded. Overall, 496 and 201 taxa were found in macroalgal forests and in barrens, respectively. The results of this large-scale descriptive study have met the expectation of lower macrofauna complexity and diversity in barrens rather than in macroalgal forests, and have allowed estimating the differences in levels of diversity and the consistency of variability across Mediterranean sites. Some peculiar patterns in barrens, related to both abundance of specific taxa and to high values of beta diversity, have been evidenced.
|Number of pages||16|
|Journal||Marine Environmental Research|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Aquatic Science