Trophic Ecology and Habitat Provision in Cold-Water Coral Ecosystems


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autun.purser [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

Cold-water coral ecosystems differ from each other greatly in structure, faunal makeup, and ecological function. Attributes such as substrate type, 3-D complexity, biological community, and nutrient supply also change over small temporal and spatial scales. In this chapter, we present an overview of food gathering strategies employed by a range of cold-water corals. Furthermore, the importance of corals as habitat providers for associated fauna and thus biodiversity is discussed. The coral habitats support ecosystems at various spatial scales ranging from local exposed skeleton patches on gorgonian branches to the various zones on a reef. Comparison is made between many types of animal forests made up by cold-water corals, including several types of coral gardens and coastal and offshore reefs from a wide range of environmental settings. The trophic ecology of reef types is compared, and the variation in feeding behavior across particular reefs is also discussed.



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Inbook
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Peer-reviewed
Publication Status
Published
Eprint ID
40507
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-17001-5_20-1

Cite as
Buhl-Mortensen, P. , Buhl-Mortensen, L. and Purser, A. (2016): Trophic Ecology and Habitat Provision in Cold-Water Coral Ecosystems / S. Rossi , L. Bramanti , A. Gori and C. Orejas (editors) , In: Marine Animal Forests, Marine Animal Forests, Switzerland, Springer, 26 p., ISBN: 978-3-319-17001-5 . doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-17001-5_20-1


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