After the Fall: The Demographic Destiny of a Gorgonian Population Stricken by Catastrophic Mortality

TitleAfter the Fall: The Demographic Destiny of a Gorgonian Population Stricken by Catastrophic Mortality
Publication TypeArticolo su Rivista peer-reviewed
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsSantori, Silmona Ruffaldi, Benedetti Carlotta, Cocito Silvia, Peirano Andrea, Cupido Roberta, and Santangelo Giovanni
JournalOceans, 2
Volume2
Start Page337
Date Published2021
Abstract

In the last years, the frequency of mass mortality events in marine ecosystems worldwide increased and several populations of benthic suspension feeders have been affected, reducing their density and changing their structure. There is little knowledge about the dynamics of these populations over sufficiently long time-intervals, and some different drop points (between local extinction and completely recovery) can be reached. Following the temporal changes occurring in impacted populations of habitat-forming species could improve our understanding of the future dynamics of the whole community and ecosystem. A monitoring, carried out for several years (likely including pre-mortality data), could allow evaluating the effects of GCC on the conservation of long-lived species. The results of long-lasting surveys, based on not destructive sampling methods, should highlight the demographic destiny of octocoral populations drastically declining after catastrophic mortality events.