COVER EXPLANATION.—Seafloor at the coring station "Piran 2" (water depth 22.7 m). In this area, the baseline community consisted of extensive oyster and Arca shell beds with a high-diversity epifauna. Today, epifaunal multi-species clumps are patchily distributed and affected by dredging and recurrent hypoxic events, differing considerably from the baseline community. The shown clump consists of at least three different species of sponges, a dendrochirot sea cucumber (
Ocnus planci, right), a pectinid bivalve (left), and a sabellid tubeworm ( Sabellapavonina, center). Note the burrow opening at center left, shell debris at center right, and the numerous ophiuroids ( Ophiothrixspp.) insuspension-feeding position in the background.