Cold-Water Corals and Ecosystems (Erlangen Earth Conference by Andre Freiwald (Editor)

By Andre Freiwald (Editor)

Following the intriguing 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 sizzling subject in multidisciplinary marine study. Conventionally, coral reefs are considered as limited to hot and well-illuminated tropical seas, now not linked to chilly and darkish waters of upper latitudes. although, ongoing medical missions have make clear the worldwide importance of this ignored environment. Cold-water coral ecosystems are concerned about the formation of enormous seabed buildings similar to reefs and vast carbonate mounds, and so they signify unexploited paleo-environmental records of earth heritage. 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 at once on cold-water coral reefs inflicting critical! harm to this weak environment. during this quantity, the present key associations serious about cold-water coral examine have contributed sixty two state of the art articles from geology and oceanography to biology and conservation.

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Their modern counterparts live preferably in deeper and cooler waters (Cairns 1983). All Danian corals are azooxanthellate and show an optimal adaptation to heterotrophic nourishment in growth form and orientation. The absence of light, which is also a function of depth, is not a limiting factor. Relevance of biogenic structures and open questions The distributional patterns of biogenic sediments in the Danish basin are of relevance for our understanding of the role of corals and bryozoans in Mesozoic and Tertiary cool-water environments.

6A), brachiopods, and oysters (Fig. 7A-7). Encrustation was an important factor to support and stabilize the mound structure, but also to increase weight on the corals. The stability of the corals was gradually weakened by a network of sponge and bryozoan borings. This resulted in the breakdown of the coral colonies, which formed new substrates for further colonization and encrustation. Most abundant encrusting organisms were bryozoans, serpulids, brachiopods, and bivalves. It is noteworthy that precipitates of microbes are rare to absent in the newly formed habitats.

The coral limestone banks and mounds are subdivided according to the dominance of the three scleractinian coral genera and species Dendrophyllia candelabrum Henning, 1899, Faksephyllia faxoensis (Beck, 1835) and Oculina becki (Nielsen, 1922). Bryozoans, hydro- and octocorals are present everywhere within the coral limestone, but occur in varying frequencies. Characteristic facies fossils are missing. The associated fauna of the coral limestone is more highly diverse than that of the bryozoan limestone.

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