Biologia de "Paramuricea clavata" "(Anthozoa: Octocorallia)" a les costes catalanes. I. Creixement i característiques generals


  • Josep M. Gili i Sardà
  • Àngel García García


The gorgonian Paramuricea clavata is a characteristic macrofaunal specie of the Western Mediterranean benthos, especially of the circalittoral community. Their typical shrub-like colonies are to be found ranged perpendicularly against the prevailing water current and in conditions of darkness. It is a species perfectly adapted to its habitat, where it competes for the available space with other benthic species.
P. Clavata exhibits alternative bionomic strategies (K-r), with a slow growth and a long life, and on the other hand, an high larval production, once a year, with a very high mortality. In this respect, their life cycle is very similar to other species of Mediterranean gorgonians.
With simple marking, both in large and small colonies, we have obtained some preliminary rates of growth: 7.9 mm y-1 for big colonies, which represents 5.5 g y-1 of increase in biomass, and a P/B ratio of 0.19. In small colonies the growth is 10.6 mm y-1, equivalent to 1.9 g y-1 and a P/B ratio of 0.48.
Some observations about these and other features of this and similar species are offered in the course of this paper.