Mots clés : Conservation status, Cystoseira amentacea, Human pressure, Mapping, Mediterranean Sea, Long-term study
Cystoseira amentacea is a Mediterranean endemic alga thriving on very shallow rocky substrates. It has been considered as a threatened species, having experienced a steady decline and is therefore protected by international conventions. The historical distribution of the species has been assessed along the French Mediterranean coast, on the basis of 467 articles and herbarium vouchers. We have produced an accurate map of its current distribution and abundance along 1 832 km of coastline, through in situ surveys. C. amentacea was observed along 1 125 km of shoreline, including 33 % of almost continuous or continuous belt. In most of its range, there is no evidence of loss, except in 4 areas of Provence, French Riviera and Corsica. A significant relation was found between the absence or low abundance of C. amentacea and the vicinity of ports and large sewage outfalls. The status of conservation of the species should therefore be reassessed.