Assessing the living and dead proportions of cold-water coral colonies: implications for deep-water Marine Protected Area monitoring in a changing ocean
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AuthorsVad, J. (Johanne); Orejas, C. (Covadonga); Moreno-Navas, J. (Juan); Findlay, H.S. (Helen S.); Roberts, J.M. (J. Murray)
Editor/sVergés, A. (Adriana)
Mingulay Reef Complex
Deep-water marine protected areas
Coral growth patterns result from an interplay of coral biology and environmental conditions. In this study colony size and proportion of live and dead skeletons in the cold-water coral (CWC) Lophelia pertusa (Linnaeus, 1758) were measured using video footage from Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) transects conducted at the inshore Mingulay Reef Complex (MRC) and at the offshore PISCES site (Rockall Bank) in the NE Atlantic. The main goal of this paper was to explore the development of a simple method to quantify coral growth and its potential application as an assessment tool of the health of these remote habitats. Eighteen colonies were selected and whole colony and dead/living layer size were measured. Live to dead layer ratios for each colony were then determined and analysed. The age of each colony was estimated using previously published data. Our paper shows that: (1) two distinct morphotypes can be described: at the MRC, colonies displayed a ‘cauliflower-shaped’ morphotype whereas ...
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