We present a quantitative physiognomic characterization of major macroalgal-dominated assemblages on coastal detritic bottoms of the continental shelf off Mallorca and Menorca (Balearic Islands, Western Mediterranean). In late spring of 2007 and 2008, 29 samples were collected by bottom trawling at depths between -52 and -93 m. These samples were then sorted and identified to their lowest taxonomic level. Statistical analyses distinguished six different assemblage types: shallower water environments (-52 to -65 m in depth) were characterized by Osmundaria volubilis and Phyllophora crispa meadows and two types of Peyssonnelia beds; two assemblage types, Laminaria rodriguezii beds and maërl beds, were only present in deep-water environments (-77 to -81 m); and an assemblage dominated by P. crispa and Halopteris filicina was found in both shallow and deep waters (-57 to -93 m). We assess the distribution of these six assemblage types through the studied area.
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