Do cold water corals provide an essential habitat for Helicolenus dactylopterus (Delaroche, 1809) in the Northwest Africa? - Université de Bretagne Occidentale Access content directly
Journal Articles Marine Environmental Research Year : 2024

Do cold water corals provide an essential habitat for Helicolenus dactylopterus (Delaroche, 1809) in the Northwest Africa?

Abstract

Cold water corals (CWC) provide habitats for many organisms including demersal fish. Bottom trawl observations have indicated a co -occurrence of the fish Helicolenus dactylopterus with CWC reefs, but a detailed understanding of this relation is lacking. To better understand the nature of this relation we have analyzed 85 videolines from ROV dives conducted at 25-1700 m depth off Morocco, Mauritania, and Senegal in 2020 and 2021. We annotated abundance, size, and behavior of the 552 specimens observed (32% juveniles and 68% adults), of these 82% occurred in CWC habitats at 400-600 m depth. Both juveniles and adults were observed standing on the seafloor. Our observations are discussed considering available knowledge on feeding ecology and life cycle of H. dactylopterus. Our findings show that CWC provides an essential habitat for this species at least during parts of its lifecycle, however, more behavioral studies are needed for an in-depth understanding of this association.
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hal-04636044 , version 1 (05-07-2024)

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Hammoud El Vadhel, Lene Buhl-Mortensen, Dedah Ahmed Babou, Abdelmajid Dridi, Bocar Sabaly Balde, et al.. Do cold water corals provide an essential habitat for Helicolenus dactylopterus (Delaroche, 1809) in the Northwest Africa?. Marine Environmental Research, 2024, pp.106538. ⟨10.1016/j.marenvres.2024.106538⟩. ⟨hal-04636044⟩
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