Microendoliths of the Shallow Euphotic Zone in open and shaded habitats at 30°N - Eilat, Israel - Paleoecological implications

Marcos Gektidis, Zvi Dubinsky, Stefano Goffredo

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32 Scopus citations


This study examines microendolithic community patterns in experimental carbonate blocks in shallow waters between 0 m and 30 m adjacent to Eilat, Israel. We set up two different habitats per depth: one in full light and one shaded. After 6 months of exposure we observed 23 species of which five are unknown to science and herein described as forms. Differences in community patterns between open and shaded habitats were clearly visible at 0 m, indistinct between 6 m and 15 m and indiscernible at 30 m. Three modern producers of key ichnotaxa were confirmed in our experiments within their paleobathymetrical range: Hyella balani (Fascichnus acinosus), Conchocelis (Palaeoconchocelis starmachii), and Ostreobium quekettii (Ichnoreticulina elegans). For Fascichnus dactylus we found six possible producers. We dismiss Scolecia filosa, Eurygonum nodosum and Rhopalia catenata as potential key ichnotaxa because of the broad bathymetrical range of their producers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-55
Number of pages13
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements We thank the staff of the Interuniversity Institute for Marine Science, Nanette E. Chadwick, Noga Stambler (Bar Ilan University, Israel) for logistical support during the fieldwork at Eilat, and Jürgen Tochtenhagen (J.W. Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt, Germany) for assistance with SEM. Measurement of the light levels was funded by a grant from Scuba Schools International (Italy) to SG. We are also grateful for David Glassom’s support during field-work and his expertise in coral identification. Nanette E. Chadwick (Bar Ilan University, Israel), Ingrid Glaub, Peter Vogel (both from Frankfurt), Gert Wörheide (Göttingen) and Max Wisshak (Erlangen) and one anonymous reviewer are thanked for their critical review of this manuscript.


  • Bioerosion
  • Eilat
  • Key-ichnotaxa
  • Microendolith
  • Paleo-bathymetry
  • Red Sea
  • ShallowEuphotic Zone


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