Ruolo ecologico degli Asteroidei in due comunità dell'infralitorale superiore dell'Isola di Ustica

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[automatically translated] Asteroids are predators that are commonly found in marine ecosystems of hard and moving floor. In Area Marine Protected "Ustica" the prohibition of the urchin harvest edible Paracentrotus lividus upper infralittoral, has led to the replacement of the community to photophilic algae erected with a community dominated by encrusting algae and urchins (barren) in much of 'island. Three species of asteroids, Marthasterias glacialis, Ophidiaster ophidianus and coscinasterias tenuispina, are commonly found in the habitat is dominated by barren than in the one where they remain high hedges to erect photophilic algae. They have been studied the distribution and feeding habits of three species in the barren and in the community to photophilic algae in order to compare their trophic role in different habitats. Visual censuses were conducted and data were collected on the diet of the three upper infralittoral species of hard substrate AMP Ustica Island between July and November 2008. The results show that: a) the three species are more abundant in barren; b) O. ophidianus is characterized by a dominance of the diet with paucispecifica Demosponge Ircinia variabilis; c) M. glacialis feeding preferentially urchins and shellfish. C. tenuispina was scanty and dietary data for the moment are not considered reliable. Over the next two years of the PhD program we will be also studied other aspects of this issue: a) food selection of the prey of these three species of asteroids;
Original languageItalian
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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