Site details

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4 stars - Protection pending but not yet approved by national legislation
LTBR Focal Site

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Panorama from the Benthic Ecology Laboratory in Ischia. Photo: V Zupo

Synoptic description of site:

Several vegetated environments, from hard bottoms to seagrasses, from the surface to about 50m depht, under continuous monitoring. They will be protected in the next future according to the law.

Extensive description of site:

The marine reserve “Neptune Kingdom” comprises several environments located along the coastal areas of three islands: Ischia, Procida and Vivara. Almost all habitat typical of the Mediterranean are covered: seagrass meadows, with Posidonia oceanica (forming an almost continuous belt around the coasts, from 1 to about 35 m depth), Zostera noltii, and Cymodocea nodosa; hard bottom communities with coastal banks (both photofilous and coralligenous habitats), cliffs and caves; sand (coastal sands and Amphioxus sands, which represent in Ischia one of the only locations of this peculiar environment in the Gulf of Naples) and muds (detritic muds, which in some areas typically form rhodolith facies).

Habitats present:
Seagrass bedsX

Description of fauna and flora:

The number of species recorded in the Phlegrean island’s checklist is representative of more than 70% of the total species known for the Mediterranean.

Human impact:

There are no industries at all in the islands. The main source of disturbance for the system is represented by tourist activities, with the related pollution, and fisheries activity. However, underwater discharge pipes are located all around the island of Ischia at around 50 m depth and they carry partially depurated waters. Both influences will be strongly mitigated after the final activation of the marine park.


From the Laboratory of Benthic Ecology, in Ischia, the whole area is accessible by boat within a radius of 3 miles. The Laboratory is fully equipped for morphological, physiological, molecular and radioisotope studies. It is very easy (30 minutes by hydrofoil) to reach the main building of the fully equipped Stazione Zoologica A. Dohrn in Naples.

Available database and website:

A CD Rom containing a checklist containing about 2000 species is currently available at the Laboratory of Benthic Ecology. A checklist of conchiferous molluscs present around the islands is on line (http:://


Commitment and ongoing research:

The Stazione Zoologica A. Dohrn is commited to a series of long-term large-scale programmes for the study of biodiversity and the monitoring of the marine environment in the Bay of Naples.

Additional Information:

Web site: Parco Regno di Nettuno: a huge literature data base was obtained and conserved at the Benthic Ecology Laboratory. The list will be available on request.