Biodiversity

fish using coral as a habitat

example of fish using coral as a habitat. google images.

Cold-water coral reefs provide habitats for an estimated 980 invertebrate and vertebrate. Species such as, juvenile fish species have been seen to use the reefs as a nursery ground (Buhl-Mortensen & Mortensen 2004), sponges, polychaete worms, molluscs, crustaceans, bryzoans and echinoderms (Freiwald et al. 2004). Deep-water Oculina reefs have been compared to shallow tropical reefs as their faunal diversity is very similar (Brooke & Young 2003).  

A study was carried out by Henry and Roberts (2007) to look at the difference between the biodiversity of species found on and off a mound in the Belgica mound province (BMP) containing L.pertusa and Madrepora oculata reefs, located on the European continental margin. During the study, 11 box cores were taken and after closer inspection there were 349 species from 16 different phyla were found (Henry & Roberts 2007). These results give a good example of just how diverse cold-water coral reefs are and how important they are to other species. Observations and experiments have shown that there is no one species that is dominant throughout these reefs; the abundance of all species is fairly consistent with low numbers of individuals (De Backer 2002).

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