Cold-water coral reefs thriving under hypoxia

Hebbeln, Dierk, Wienberg, Claudia, Dullo, Wolf-Christian, Freiwald, André, Mienis, Furu, Orejas, Covadonga and Titschack, Jürgen (2020) Cold-water coral reefs thriving under hypoxia Coral Reefs, 39 . pp. 853-859. DOI 10.1007/s00338-020-01934-6.

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Abstract

Reefs formed by scleractinian cold-water corals represent unique biodiversity hot spots in the deep sea, preferring aphotic water depths of 200–1000 m. The distribution of the most prominent reef-building species Lophelia pertusa is controlled by various environmental factors including dissolved oxygen concentrations and temperature. Consequently, the expected ocean deoxygenation and warming triggered by human-induced global change are considered as a serious threat to cold-water coral reefs. Here, we present results on recently discovered reefs in the SE Atlantic, where L. pertusa thrives in hypoxic and rather warm waters. This sheds new light on its capability to adapt to extreme conditions, which is facilitated by high surface ocean productivity, resulting in extensive food supply. Putting our data in an Atlantic-wide perspective clearly demonstrates L. pertusa’s ability to develop population-specific adaptations, which are up to now hardly considered in assessing its present and future distributions.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Cold-water corals, Lophelia pertusa, Hypoxia, Adaptation, Global change
Research affiliation: MARUM
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-P-OZ Paleo-Oceanography
NIOZ
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1007/s00338-020-01934-6
ISSN: 0722-4028
Projects: The Ocean in the Earth System
Expeditions/Models:
Date Deposited: 07 May 2020 08:55
Last Modified: 03 Aug 2020 12:09
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/49624

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