Distribution of the genetic diversity within Lithophyllum cabiochiae within the Mediterranean basins

by Erga Z., David R., Zuberer F., Koutsoubas, Chenuil A., Ereskowski A., Dubois S., Verlaque M. and Féral J.-P.
Thursday 24 April 2014
by  Jean Pierre FERAL
popularity : 12%

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In the framework of CIGESMED SeasEra project, which aims to evaluate and monitor the "Good Environmental Status" of coralligenous habitats for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, a special sampling protocol and mapping scheme contextualizing ecological, genetic and geological information is developed. These habitats develop on hard substrates, in dim light conditions from 20m down to 120m depth and have great structural and functional complexity which harbors around 20% of the Mediterranean species. Red calcareous algae of the order Corallinales are the main coralligenous builders. Due to their photosynthetic and calcifying ability, they have an important ecological role in the carbon flux, benthic productivity and the habitat? complexity of this typically sciaphilic? Mediterranean ecosystem. The Corallinales Lithophyllum cabiochiae is considered to be a Mediterranean species and L. stictaeforme its Atlantic sister species. Despite their ecological importance, the identification in these species is complicated and their taxonomic status is constantly changing. This study aims to answer the taxonomic questions about these species complex with the use of molecular markers and to provide information on their population structure and phylogeography? within the Mediterranean basin. The connectivity amongst the study sites could be evident, helping the decisions taking about management and conservation issues.

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