By Andre Freiwald (Editor)
Following the fascinating exploration of sizzling vent and chilly seep ecosystems, the rediscovery of cold-water coral ecosystems with high-technology instrumentation is at the moment one other scorching subject in multidisciplinary marine learn. Conventionally, coral reefs are considered as constrained to hot and well-illuminated tropical seas, no longer linked to chilly and darkish waters of upper latitudes. even though, ongoing clinical missions have make clear the worldwide value of this missed atmosphere. Cold-water coral ecosystems are desirous about the formation of huge seabed buildings reminiscent of reefs and sizeable carbonate mounds, they usually characterize unexploited paleo-environmental documents of earth historical past. Like their tropical cousins, cold-water coral ecosystems harbour wealthy species range. regardless of the good water depths, advertisement pursuits overlap an increasing number of with the coral occurrences. Human actions already impinge without delay on cold-water coral reefs inflicting critical! harm to this susceptible atmosphere. during this quantity, the present key associations eager about cold-water coral study have contributed sixty two state of the art articles from geology and oceanography to biology and conservation.
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Additional info for Cold-Water Corals and Ecosystems (Erlangen Earth Conference Series)
By contrast, azooxanthellate corals form extended biogenic structures along many shelves in the North Atlantic, off Florida and many other regions (see contributions in this volume). Although Lophelia pertusa has the greatest distribution in modern oceans, living Oculina varicosa has closer taxonomic relationships to Oculina becki from the Danish basin and thus has been chosen for comparison. An extensive area of deep-water coral reefs growing along the shelf edge off eastern Florida was described by Reed (1980, 2002a, b).
The mounds consist of fragmented bryozoans and lime mud composed of debris of coccoliths, globigerinid foraminiferans and small invertebrate shells. The bryozoan content of the wackestone or packstone is typically between 20-45 % (Thomsen 1977, 1983). In addition to suspension feeding cheilostome and cyclostome bryozoans, echinoids, crinoids, brachiopods, bivalves, gastropods, serpulids and asteroids occur. Although bryozoans dominate in both species number and volume, irregular and regular echinoids occur in extreme abundance at many levels (Thomsen 1977, 1983).
Box 38, Solomons, MD 20688, USA Contributors XXXI Marco Taviani ISMAR-Marine Geology Division, CNR, Via Gobetti 101, I-40129 Bologna, Italy Ann Vanreusel Marine Biology Section, Gent University, Krijgslaan 281, S8, B-9000 Gent, Belgium Jörn Thiede Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Am Handelshafen 12, D-27570 Bremerhaven, Germany Agostina Vertino Institute of Paleontology, Erlangen University, Loewenichstr. 28, D-91054 Erlangen, Germany Richard E. Thomson Institute of Ocean Sciences, Sidney, BC, Canada Rhian G.