The benthos of Northwest Africa
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Information on benthos biodiversity is scarce in the CCLME and inventories of marine fauna are only available for Morocco and the Canary Islands; a regional report was recently compiled in the framework of the CCLME project. A major review of benthic biodiversity in West Africa was carried out by Le Loeuff and Von Cosel (1998), who reported the highest specific richness between Cape Blanc (Mauritania) and Cape Verga (Guinea Bissau). Although a latitudinal biodiversity pattern was not observed, preliminary results of R/V Dr. Fridtjof Nansen and Vizconde de Eza surveys recorded the highest diversity values in Western Sahara and also higher diversity on the shelf and upper slope than in deep waters. An important faunistic change between tropical and temperate biota has been reported at Cape Blanc latitude. The zoobenthos of Cape Verde and the Canary Islands shows some specific features linked to their volcanic origin, insularity and oceanographic conditions. Epibenthic communities maintain ...
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