The distribution of scleractinian corals in the Bay of Biscay, NE Atlantic

Type Article
Date 2008-08
Language English
Author(s) Reveillaud J1, Freiwald A2, Van Rooij D3, Le Guilloux Erwan4, Altuna A5, Foubert A3, Vanreusel A1, Olu Karine4, Henriet J3
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ Ghent, Dept Biol, Marine Biol Sect, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium.
2 : Univ Erlangen Nurnberg, GeoZentrum Nordbayern, D-91054 Erlangen, Germany.
3 : Univ Ghent, Dept Soil Sci & Geol, Renard Ctr Marine Geol, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium.
4 : IFREMER, Dept Etudes Ecosyst Profonds, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
5 : INSUB, San Sebastian 20013, Spain.
Source Facies (0172-9179) (Springer), 2008-08 , Vol. 54 , N. 3 , P. 317-331
DOI 10.1007/s10347-008-0138-4
WOS© Times Cited 40
Keyword(s) Biodiversity, Bay of Biscay, Slope, Scleractinia, Cold water corals
Abstract Studies on the distribution of scleractinian corals in the Bay of Biscay were relatively numerous during the nineteenth and the first half of the twentieth century. Yet, recent reports are scattered, sometimes unpublished, and therefore knowledge about the current coral occurrence in the area is limited. This study aims at compiling the available historical and more recently collected information on the occurrence of scleractinian corals in the Bay of Biscay. Data from two recent cruises are included and compared with previous explored coral sites from as early as 1830 up to 1995. A database of 347 records including 34 described species of scleractinians highlights that the slope of the Bay of Biscay is an important habitat for scleractinians. This could be expected due to the high topographic relief providing the necessary hard substrate and accelerated bottom current flow that corals require. Further exploration of the occurrence and ecology of corals in the area is recommended to support the conservation of cold-water coral reefs along the European margin.
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