Cold-water corals research in the lab and in the field: (1) growth rates of four CWC species maintained in aquaria, (2) new research areas: the Galicia Bank and the Avilés canyon (Atlantic and Cantabrian Sea), a scientific and methodological approach
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AuthorsOrejas, C. (Covadonga); Ferrier-Pagès, C. (Christine); Reynaud, S. (Stéphanie); Gori, A. (Andrea); Tsounis, G. (Georgios); Allemand, D. (Denis); Gili, J.M. (Josep Maria); Sánchez, F. (Francisco); Serrano, A. (Alberto); González-Pola, C. (César); Ruiz-Villarreal, M. (Manuel); Druet-Vélez, M. (María); Gómez-Ballesteros, M. (María)
Growth rates of 4 Cold-water Coral (CWC) species (Madrepora occulata, Lophe/ia pertusa, Desmophyllum cristagalli and Dendrophyllia cornigera) from the Mediterranean Sea have been measured under the same and controlled laboratory conditions over a nine months period. Results showed that M. occulata grew faster than the other three species, which presented similar growth rates. These results are discussed and also compared with the growth of tropical coral species maintained in aquaria, but in different light and temperature conditions, which corresponded to the usual culture conditions of these corals. It appeared that the zooxanthellate tropical coral Galaxea fascicularis exhibited similar growth rates than the CWC M. oculata. Further we present new research areas on the Atlantic and Cantabrian continental margin, the Galicia Bank and the Aviles canyon, which are part of the zones studied in the Spanish LIFE project INDEMARES, as well as possible targets as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) ...