Can rock composition affect sublittoral epibenthic communities?

Riccardo Cattaneo-Vietti, Giancarlo Albertelli, Giorgio Bavestrello, Carlo Nike Bianchi, Carlo Cerrano, Mariachiara Chiantore, Laura Gaggero, Carla Morri, Stefano Schiaparelli

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Biomineralogy, as the complex of interactions at different levels (cell, organism, species, and community) between organisms and minerals, may play a significant role in the spatial distribution and structure of marine communities. For instance, a negative influence of quartz has been underlined on the Mediterranean benthic communities, which show a species-poorer structure in quartz-rich environments. Excluding the role of quartz, the aim of this work is to verify whether the composition of various mineralogical substrata can affect a hard-bottom benthic community. In the Ligurian Sea, the Levanto area shows an astonishing complex of substrata with different petrographic characters: in a few kilometres, sandstones, serpentinites, gabbros, and basalts occur in geometric association. Consequently, this area represents a suitable frame for this type of study. Herein, algal photophilic assemblages growing on the four mineralogical substrata show significant differences in number of species and percentage cover or abundance. This suggests a significant influence of rock mineral composition on the hard bottom community. Therefore, rock composition must be taken into account for a better understanding of the processes at the basis of hard-bottom community development and diversity. © 2002 Blackwell Verlag, Berlin.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65 - 77
Number of pages13
JournalMarine Ecology
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2002
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology

Cite this

Cattaneo-Vietti, R., Albertelli, G., Bavestrello, G., Bianchi, C. N., Cerrano, C., Chiantore, M., Gaggero, L., Morri, C., & Schiaparelli, S. (2002). Can rock composition affect sublittoral epibenthic communities? Marine Ecology, 23(SUPPL. 1), 65 - 77.