Yellow gorgonian - Eunicella Cavolinii
We met Yellow gorgonian, Eunicella Cavolinii (Gorgonia gialla) on a seabed of about 42 meters deep and as we can see from the images these colonies of yellow gorgonian are almost completely covered by marine mucilage.
Due to the heating of the waters, the phenomenon of mucilage is now constant and these gorgonians are the first to suffer its effects.
Yellow gorgonian (Eunicella cavolinii) is a Mediterranean Gorgonian that grows on rocky bottoms usually between 10 and 30 meters deep; although some scholars argue that we can also find it at 150 meters.
It forms yellow or more rarely white arborescent colonies, up to 40-50 cm tall, arranged perpendicular to the current, with soft and flexible ramifications. The polyps are lighter in color than the branch.
It is a typical species of the Mediterranean Sea where it populates rocky bottoms starting from 10 meters and therefore many sport divers meet it with relative ease. It often lives associated with Paramuricea clavata, red Gorgonian.
When we talk about mucillage we mean the result of a “vital” process of microalgae that we can define as variable: first the formation and aggregation takes place in free water; subsequently the mass settles with a negative buoyancy on the bottom, enveloping the sessile and benthic life, then the formation of gas gives the mass a positive buoyancy transporting it to the surface from where, once the putrefaction gas has been “unloaded”, it returns to suffocate the life of the bottom . The whole process removes oxygen from the water in general and in particular from any form of life “suffocated” by the mass..