Nature Occurrence of Associated Faunal Assemblages on Posidonia oceanica at Salloum Marine Protected Area, Mediterranean Sea, Egypt

Document Type : Original Article


1 Salloum Marine Protected Area Manager, Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency, Egypt.

2 Marine Biology, Zoology Department, Faculty of Science, Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt.

3 Marine Science, Faculty of Science, Port Said University, Port said, Egypt.


The present study describes the natural occurrence of different faunal assemblages recorded among the seagrass, Posidonia oceanica meadows at the shallow water coastal zone (2-6 m) of the Salloum Marine Protected Area, Northwestern   Egyptian coast, and the Mediterranean Sea. This study was carried out during the period from August 2018 to September 2019. A total of 242 faunal species belong to kingdoms Protista (one phylum) and Animalia (14 phyla), distributed in 32 classes under 75 orders, within 151 families and 200 genera were recorded. The recorded species were classified according to their occurrence into two main categories; the benthic animals comprised 226 species and the nektonic swimmers represented 16 species, comprising turtles (2 species) and fishes (14 species). The benthic animals were also subdivided according to occurrence among seagrass into epibenthic species, which were the dominant and represented by 177 species, followed by 49 infaunal species. Within epibenthic, the creeping animals came in the first order with 93 species, followed by walking (43 species), sedentary or sessile animals with 41 species in the second and third orders, respectively. The results also showed that the epibenthic animals were unequally distributed on plant parts, comprised of erect rhizomes (stems) occupied with the highest number of species (38), followed by 15 species on horizontal rhizomes (roots), and 13 species on leaves; while the co-existing species on leaves and erect rhizomes came last, and were occupied with only 12 species.