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Fondali dell’Arcipelago delle Eolie

The seabeds of the Aeolian Islands Archipelago slope towards the open sea. They offer a wide range of habitats: Posidonia oceanica meadows, gorgonian forests, aggregations of black coral at intermediate depths and coralligenous formations on deep rocky seabeds. The Posidonia oceanica meadows are well-structured and extensive, while the rocky substrates show the typical benthic zonation with populations of Cystoseira. The Aeolian Islands represent one of the few sites in Sicily with well-preserved populations of Cystoseira sp.. Moreover, the seabeds host a spectacular forest of bamboo coral, which is a species critically endangered constituing one of the densest and largest forests in the Mediterranean. The biodiversity and integrity of the marine ecosystems of the Aeolian Islands are of significant interest; they require protection and conservation.