Skip to main content

Scarpata continentale dell’Arcipelago Toscano

The continental slope of the Tuscan Archipelago hosts deep-sea coral communities at depths ranging from 350 to 410 meters. This area extends between Capo Corso, the Island of Gorgona, and Capraia. The corals are found on a muddy seabed, forming elevations of 3-4 meters in height and several tens of meters in extension. The main coral species include Madrepora oculata, Desmophyllum dianthus, and Dendrophylla cornigera. The coral structures are primarily colonized in their upper parts. Many animal species, including mollusks, cnidarians, annelids, brachiopods, crustaceans, and echinoderms, are present both on and around the coral structures. Deep-sea corals represent a highly biodiversity habitat compared to the surrounding seabeds. These biogenic constructions are found in various areas of the Mediterranean, but their distribution depends on specific environmental conditions.