Preliminary characterization of echinoderm assemblages in circalittoral and bathyal soft bottoms of the northern Alboran Sea
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AuthorsMoya-Urbano, E. (Elena); Moya-Ruiz, F. (Francisca); Mateo-Ramírez, Á. (Ángel); Gallardo-Núñez, M. (Marina); Ordines, F. (Francesc); Farias, C. (Carlos); Manjón-Cabeza, M.E. (María Eugenia); Urra, J. (Javier); Rueda, J.L. (José Luis); García-Ruiz, C. (Cristina)
Echinoderms, with 7.272 species described so far (based on WORMS), provide an ecosystemic role which can be important depending on their habitat, and including tag species (Manjón-Cabeza et al., 2014; Palma-Sevilla 2015) or even dominant ones (Iken et al., 2010; Hughes et al., 2012). Despite the increasing knowledge on their taxonomy, studies on ecological and assemblage composition and structure of echinoderms are very scarce compared to those for other invertebrate groups, being this information essential for improving the knowledge on Mediterranean ecosystems (Coll et al., 2010). The Alboran Sea, in the junction of the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea and the European and African continental margins, represents a biodiversity hotspot due to the overlapping of species from those basins and continents, including some endemic components (Coll et al., 2010). Regarding echinoderms of the Alboran Sea, most previous studies focussed on infralittoral bottoms, with very few for ...
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