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

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 April 2000

C. Nike Bianchi
Affiliation:
Marine Environment Research Centre, ENEA Santa Teresa, CP 316, I-19100 La Spezia, Italy, Email : bianchi@estosf.santateresa.enea.it
Carla Morri
Affiliation:
Dipartimento per lo studio del Territorio e delle sue Risorse (Zoologia), via Balbi 5, I-16126 Genova, Italy , Email : zoologia@unige.it

Abstract

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.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2000 Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

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