The Cold Deep Sea

957 Words Jun 10th, 2015 4 Pages
Cold water corals form reef structures in the cold deep sea are often defined as self-sustaining biogenic reef frameworks and can be found in any ocean around the world at different depths (Roberts, 2005; Davies and Guinotte, 2011). Reefs are patchy distributed on the sea floor and can develop forming impressive solid structures. These can fairly extend forming complex deep-sea habitats and shaping niches for many different marine species. These frameworks constitute thus a very specific ecosystem, offering different types of habitats (Buhl-Mortensen et al., 1995; Freiwald et al., 2004; Buhl-Mortensen et al., 2010) to different marine organisms. These reefs are thus important hotspots of biodiversity (Roberts et al., 2006) and have a key role in the carbon cycle in the deep sea (Roberts et al., 2006; Thiem et al., 2006).
In the North East Atlantic, Lophelia pertusa, a scleractinian cold-water coral, is the dominating reef forming species. Several symbiotic relations (among 1300 species; Roberts et al, 2006) have been observed in different studies (Buhl-Mortensen and Buhl-Mortensen, 2004; Roberts, 2005) between scleractinian cold-water corals and different invertebrate organisms. However, the degree of these relationships is still not enough defined and poorly understood (Buhl-Mortensen and Buhl-Mortensen, 2004; Roberts et al., 2009). An example was reported by Roberts (2005) who described a symbiotic relationship between the cold- water coral, Lophelia pertusa, and the…

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