The mesophotic zone of the Mediterranean Sea: spatial definition, biodiversity, and predictive models

Castellan, Giorgio (2022) The mesophotic zone of the Mediterranean Sea: spatial definition, biodiversity, and predictive models, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Beni culturali e ambientali, 34 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/10134.
Documenti full-text disponibili:
[img] Documento PDF (English) - Richiede un lettore di PDF come Xpdf o Adobe Acrobat Reader
Disponibile con Licenza: Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives 4.0 (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) .
Download (6MB)


The mesophotic zone is frequently defined as ranging between 30-40 and 150 m depth. However, these borders are necessarily imprecise due to variations in the penetration of light along the water column related to local factors. Moreover, density of data on mesophotic ecosystems vary along geographical distance, with temperate latitudes largely less explored than tropical situations. This is the case of the Mediterranean Sea, where information on mesophotic ecosystems is largely lower with respect to tropical situations. The lack of a clear definition of the borders of the mesophotic zone may represent a problem when information must be transferred to the policy that requires a coherent spatial definition to plan proper management and conservation measures. The present thesis aims at providing information on the spatial definition of the mesophotic zone in the Mediterranean Sea, its biodiversity and distribution of its ecosystems. The first chapter analyzes information on mesophotic ecosystems in the Mediterranean Sea to identify gaps in the literature and map the mesophotic zone in the Mediterranean Sea using light penetration estimated from satellite data. In the second chapter, different visual techniques to study mesophotic ecosystems are compared to identify the best analytical method to estimate diversity and habitat extension. In the third chapter, a set of Remotely Operated vehicles (ROV) surveys performed on mesophotic assemblages in the Mediterranean Sea are analyzed to describe their taxonomic and functional diversity and environmental factors influencing their structure. A Habitat Suitability Model is run in the fourth chapter to map the distribution of areas suitable for the presence of deep-water oyster reefs in the Adriatic-Ionian area. The fifth chapter explores the mesophotic zone in the northern Gulf of Mexico providing its spatial and vertical extension of the mesophotic zone and information on the diversity associated with mesophotic ecosystems.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Castellan, Giorgio
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
mesophotic zone; Biodiversity; Ecology; Habitat Suitability Models; Mediterranean Sea; Gulf of Mexico
Data di discussione
31 Marzo 2022

Altri metadati

Statistica sui download

Gestione del documento: Visualizza la tesi