The work carried out to better understand the flora and fauna that inhabit these enclaves are part of the project LIFE Posidonia Andalucía.
The Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning been identified through the work initiated in 2011 to learn more about the flora and fauna that inhabit oceanic Posidonia Andalusian coastline totaling 211 taxa, of which 49 are algae, 41 are fish and 121 are invertebrates. To this must be added the group of epiphytic (living organisms that live on the leaves), has been studied in terms of percent coverage.
This initiative, included in the project LIFE Posidonia Andalucía, was carried out in 13 Posidonia meadows, 10 of them on the coast of Almería, two in Malaga and Granada. The Posidonia oceanica is a marine plant species that exists only in the Mediterranean Sea and playing a key role in the environmental quality of their coasts, in maintaining fish stocks and sequestration in long-term CO2. These meadows are very important for the conservation of coastal biodiversity, as many species find shelter or food in them.
In dedicated sampling algae illuminated areas Posidonia, were detected 29 species, most of them identified in situ, the most common being the brown alga Dyctypterispolypodioides, taxon own deepest rocks and poorly lit environments. Concerning Seaweed sciaphilic, were detected 20 species. These plants low light habitats and living in stratum rhizomes, there is a clearly dominant species, the Peyssonnelia rubra, the only one present in all locations and an average coverage 20%. Note that outside the sampling, The area Calón (Almería), were detected under some blocks in a shady area, several thalli of brown alga Spatoglossum Solieri, species that had not been mentioned so far in the province. Also, in all studied meadows Andalusian concretions have been observed alternans Mesophyllum.
Regards fish, have identified 41 species. The most abundant is the vogue, has been observed at all locations, followed ocelado tondo and the Maiden. Also, four species were detected in 11 of the 13 locations, specific, Castanet, Serrano, tilapia and seabream. Another characteristic species of Posidonia is salpa, that feeds on leaves. However, large predators such as the false pollock and grouper have been observed only in Almería.
For his part, the censuses confirm that macrofauna species are the most abundant group of filter feeders such as sponges and sea squirts, followed by polychaete annelids, spirited and bivalve molluscs, but are also abundant echinoderms, especially holoturias, urchins and starfish.
Regarding the associated microfaunal layer sheets and rhizomes, dominate in terms of number of species of gastropods, with 28 species, followed by crustaceans, with both herbivores eating habits, the carnivorous scavengers. Also abound euqinodermos layer of leaf and rhizome, among which the Asterina pancerii, detected in several locations of Almeria Levante. Note that in Entinas have been located living in juvenile leaves of Posidonia species Asterina gibbous, that normally live under stones in rocky substrate.
These results confirm that the Posidonia meadows are not only one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in marine areas, but are the reservoir of many species with high economic value that subsequently entail some important fisheries.