The cold-water coral Lophelia pertusa is known is routinely skeletally fuse on reefs, and this ability to engineer complex three-dimensional habitats is central to their success and the rich biodiversity they support. However, it has been assumed to date that skeletal fusion is only between closely related individuals. This dataset includes photographic documentation (in situ and in laboratory) of fusion zones between different L. pertusa colour types, and complementary genetic evidence confirming their genetic distinctness. To explore the skeletal fusion further, Scanning Electron Microscope, and Electron Back Scatter Diffraction images were taken of fusion zones. Aragonite crystal organization and bond strength at fusion zones were additionally measured using RAMAN spectroscopy. This dataset is a contribution to the UK Ocean Acidification “Added Value Award” Programme and was collected during the Poseidon 420 cruise in July 2011, in conjunction with BIOACID and participants from Heriot-Watt University, US Geological Survey and GEOMAR. The collection of these data and the subsequent synthesis and intercomparison were funded as part of the UKOA programme by NERC, DEFRA and DECC.
Hennige S.; Morrison C.; Form A.; Büscher J.; Kamenos N.A.; Roberts J.M. (2014). Skeletal fusion in the cold-water coral Lophelia pertusa. British Oceanographic Data Centre - Natural Environment Research Council, UK. doi:10/thq