WP2 report _ kickoff 17-19 April 2013

Coralligenous assessment and threats
Saturday 11 May 2013
by  Melih Ertan CINAR
popularity : 17%

During the kick-off meeting, a presentation regarding the objectives and deliverables of the WP2 together with descriptions of work was presented. The main objectives of WP2 were summarized as 1) assessing coralligenous megabenthic assemblages by means of observation and photographic surveys; 2) investigating basic demographic characteristics of erect associated species populations and disturbances and threats; 3) quantifying necrosis of gorgonians and other key benthic species; and 4) establishing a monitoring plan through repetitive photographic sampling. In the WP2, the work to be done was classified into 4 titles; 1) choise of sites and species; 2) easy method for biodiversity and good health assessment; 3) comparision of image processing and analysis benthic quadrat methods and adaptation; and 4) contribution to the assessment of injuries and well living of coralligenous. The deliverables in the time table were explained and discussed. In addition, coralligenous structures and possible threats on them, which were previously determined in the Fethiye-Göçek Specially Protected Area, one of the sampling localities of CIGESMED, were presented. Different approaches towards the definition of coralligenous were explained and discussed. The provisional sampling procedures using a non-descriptive method (image processing) were discussed.
At the end of the meeting, a consensus about the definition of coralligenous has been almost reached. Within the content of CIGESMED, hard substrata of biogenic origin that are mainly formed by calcareous encrusting algae growing in dim-light conditions will be considered. The sampling localities in France [Marseilles (6 stations)], Greece [Crete (1 station), Zakinthos (2 stations)] and Turkey [Fethiye (4 stations) and Ildiri Bay (3 stations)] were selected for determining coralligenous structures and possible threats on them. A tree of knowledge was constructed based on the species associated with coralligenous habitat?. At some localities, reference (pristine) and impacted stations were chosen to assess possible effects of pollution on the coralligenous structures. For a minimal area, a quadrate with 25 cm x 25 cm in dimension was proposed. It was also accepted that photographs and video recordings will be made by divers between depths ranging from 15 to 35 m and a ROV? will be used to record coralligenous structures at depths deeper than 40 m. In order to stabilize the sampling procedures, a diving plan near Marseille with the participation of the French, Turkish and Greek colleagues will be arranged in this summer. As for the sampling frequency at each locality?, two seasons were considered to be satisfactory for the objectives of CIGESMED.

Prof. Dr. Melih Ertan ÇINAR
30 April 2013

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