A Global View of the Cold-Water Coral Reefs of the World

Erik e. Cordes, Furu Mienis, Ryan Gasbarro, Andrew Davies, Amy r. Baco, Angelo f. Bernardino, Malcolm r. Clark, André Freiwald, Sebastian j. Hennige, Veerle a. i. Huvenne, Pål Buhl-Mortensen, Covadonga Orejas, Andrea m. Quattrini, Dianne m. Tracey, Andrew j. Wheeler, Claudia Wienberg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract / Description of output

Cold-water corals (CWC) form reef structures in continental margin and seamount settings at tropical, temperate, and even some polar latitudes. This global distribution makes them more widespread than shallow-water reefs, while their role in these regions is no less important than the influence that shallow-water coral reefs have on shallow, tropical systems. They create habitat structure, host endemic species, enhance elemental cycling, alter current flow, sequester carbon, and provide many other ecosystem services that we are just beginning to understand. This introductory chapter to The Cold-Water Coral Reefs of the World reviews historical and recent information, reveals new findings from reefs that have been discovered only recently, and presents key avenues for future research. Global distribution and environmental data are synthesized into an ensemble model that described the niche of key species of framework-forming corals. Using an algorithm to distinguish coral colony occurrence from coral reef and mound occurrence, we further describe the subset of conditions under which CWC form reefs. This effort reveals new areas that are highly likely to host undiscovered CWC reef habitats and provides a framework for future ocean exploration. We are on the cusp of understanding the critical role that CWC reefs play in the world ocean, and this chapter and this book helps to set the stage for future efforts to determine their global impact and potential threats to the ecosystem services they provide.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCold-Water Coral Reefs of the World
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-40897-7
Publication statusPublished - 28 Dec 2023

Publication series

NameCold-Water Coral Reefs of the World
ISSN (Print)2213-719X
ISSN (Electronic)2213-7203


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