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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 121:211-216 (1995)  -  doi:10.3354/meps121211

Biomass and secondary production of the temperate gorgonian coral Eunicella cavolini (Coelenterata: Octocorallia)

Weinbauer MG, Velimirov B

Secondary production and standing stock biomass of Eunicella cavolini, one of the most abundant shallow-water gorgonians in the Mediterranean Sea, were estimated between 1989 and 1991 at 3 study sites: shallow boulders, a deep channel, and a deep wall. Secondary production was derived from colony densities, age structure, ash-free dry weight (AFDW) per age class, and the increase of AFDW between age classes. Estimation of secondary production ranged from 4.9 to 7.4 g AFDW m-2 yr-1 in the channel, from 1.3 to 1.6 g AFDW m-2 yr-1 at the wall, and from 0.26 to 0.38 g AFDW m-2 yr-1 at the boulders. Population turnover times were lowest in the channel (3.1 to 3.6 yr), intermediate at the wall (3.3 to 3.7 yr), and highest at the boulders (3.6 to 4.1 yr). Secondary production and turnover were intermediate compared to gorgonian species investigated so far. Standing stock of total biomass of E. cavolini of the present study (up to 584.6 g m-2) is comparable to reported standing stock biomass of tropical gorgonian communities. We assume that sclerite production of gorgonians can be an important contribution of calcium carbonate to the sediments in the investigated environment.

Production . Gorgonians . Biomass . Calcium carbonate . Sclerites . Mediterranean Sea

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