Reefs of the deep: the biology and geology of cold-water coral ecosystems

J Murray Roberts, Andrew J Wheeler, André Freiwald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Coral reefs are generally associated with shallow tropical seas; however, recent deep-ocean exploration using advanced acoustics and submersibles has revealed unexpectedly widespread and diverse coral ecosystems in deep waters on continental shelves, slopes, seamounts, and ridge systems around the world. Advances reviewed here include the use of corals as paleoclimatic archives and their biogeological functioning, biodiversity, and biogeography. Threats to these fragile, long-lived, and rich ecosystems are mounting: The impacts of deep-water trawling are already widespread, and effects of ocean acidification are potentially devastating.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)543-547
Number of pages5
Issue number5773
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2006

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