Serpuloidea (Annelida: Polychaeta) from Milos, an island in the Aegean Sea with submarine hydrothermalism

C. Nike Bianchi, Carla Morri

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14 Citations (Scopus)


Serpuloidea were collected by diving within 45 m depth, by indirect sampling in deeper waters (50 and 81 m), and among the fouling settled on oceanographic instruments at various depths (10, 50, 80 and 83 m depth). A total of 33 species or subspecific taxa was found: 25 Serpulidae and eight Spirorbidae. All the species collected are already known for the western Mediterranean and have Atlantic-Mediterranean or worldwide distribution. Several of these, however, may be species-complexes hiding species with restricted geographic ranges. No Lessepsian migrants were found. The number of species found at vent sites was significantly higher than that found at non-vent sites, although no vent-obligate species were recognized. Hydrothermal vents might influence serpuloidean richness through four main mechanisms: (i) increasing food sources to these filter-feeders, due to the chemiosynthetic production by vent microbiota; (ii) enhancing the development of biogenic carbonate mounds, which provide habitats for encrusting and cryptic species; (iii) inducing advective mechanisms that concentrate larval stages in the vicinity of vents and thus favouring recruitment; (iv) creating, through the periodic emission of toxic fluids, a regime of 'intermediate disturbance' that allows a larger number of species to coexist.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259 - 269
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2000
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aquatic Science

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