Site details

Banco di Santa Croce (Bay of Naples, Italy)
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              Candidate Reference Site

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Extensive description of site:

Rock hills, in a small area, within a very polluted area. The hills are covered by thousands of benthic species, from gorgonians to red coral, from Paramuricea to sponges. The area is historically known for the abundance and diversity of fish species and hosts invertebrate species that were considered absent from the Thyrrenian sea. A recent study by our laboratory demonstrates that, besides the pollution characterizing the areas around, this is a true sanctuary for biodiversity and should be protected. Presently it is a biological surveilled area.



Our Institution contains all minor (microscopes, computers, chemistry, etc.) and major (boats, TEM, SEM, molecular biology laboratories, libraries, etc.) facilities to investigate biodiversity in this area.

Available database and website:

according to our recent study, it contains any kind of habitat typical of hard bottoms in the Bay of Naples. It also contains species which were considered confined to the Adriatic Sea. A database was filled, containing about 600 species, deriving from a single (the first) sampling period of 1 year. We will continue monitoring the area, due to the high interest of these environments for the study of biodiversity and to understand the relationships between pollution and biodiversity.

Additional Information:

Web site: Banco di Santa Croce: presently a single paper was published (Bussotti et al. 1999 – Preliminary biocenotic characterization of the protected area “Banco di Santa Croce” (Gulf of Naples, Italy) Biologia Marina Mediterranea 6(1): 133-135). Several other papers are in preparation.