Red coral: conservation and management of an over-exploited Mediterranean species
Article first published online: 24 JUL 2001
Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems
Special Issue: Ecological Research and Conservation of Coastal Ecosystems
Volume 11, Issue 4, pages 253–259, July/August 2001
How to Cite
Santangelo, G. and Abbiati, M. (2001), Red coral: conservation and management of an over-exploited Mediterranean species. Aquatic Conserv: Mar. Freshw. Ecosyst., 11: 253–259. doi: 10.1002/aqc.451
- Issue published online: 24 JUL 2001
- Article first published online: 24 JUL 2001
- Manuscript Accepted: 22 NOV 2000
- Manuscript Received: 20 AUG 2000
- Italian Ministry of Agricultural Policies
- Italian Ministry of University and of Scientific and Technological Research
- Italian National Council for Researches (CNR). Grant Number: 03642 5774
- conservation strategies;
- Corallium rubrum;
- harvesting data;
- population dynamics;
- population genetics
1. Corallium rubrum is a precious circum-Mediterranean octocoral, which occurs on rocky reefs between 10 and over 250 m in depth.
2. This species has been harvested for a long time and most commercial populations have been over-exploited. The Mediterranean overall yield was reduced by 66% over the last 15 years.
3. Two type populations may be identified: (a) dense shallow-water populations consisting of small, slow-growing, short-lived colonies and (b) deep-dwelling populations, composed of large, sparse, long-lived colonies. The former populations have little economic value, but should ensure a reproductive stock for the species.
4. While the structure and demography of shallow-water populations have been studied, the demographic parameters of deep-dwelling populations are largely unknown.
5. Recent genetic studies quantified levels of genetic divergence among coastal populations. Estimated numbers of migrants among populations suggested that the planulae of C. rubrum have short-range dispersal. Geographic distances greater than 100 km can be considered as the threshold for genetic divergence between populations.
6. Development of a regime for the sustainable exploitation of this species requires a better knowledge of population dynamics, life-history traits and quantitative genetics, especially concerning commercial populations. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.