Cold-water corals form reef structures in continental margin and seamount settings worldwide, making them more wide-spread and abundant than shallow-water reefs. Their role in these ecosystems is no less important than the influence that shallow-water coral reefs have on tropical systems. They create habitat structure, host endemic species, enhance elemental cycling, alter current flow, sequester carbon, and provide many other ecosystem services that we are just beginning to understand. The rapidly evolving state of knowledge of cold-water and deep-sea coral reefs has not been compiled in over 10 years. This volume synthesizes recent and historical information, reveals new findings from reefs that have been discovered only recently, and presents key avenues for future research. We are on the cusp of understanding the critical role that cold-water coral reefs play in the world's oceans, and this book lays the foundation on which this knowledge will be built in the future.
Chapter 1. A Global View of the Cold-Water Coral Reefs of the World
Chapter 2. Biology, Ecology and Threats to Cold-Water Corals on Brazil's Deep-Sea Margin
Chapter 3. Cold-Water Corals of the World: Gulf of Mexico
Chapter 4. Cold-Water Coral Reefs of the Southeastern United States
Chapter 5. Norwegian Coral Reefs
Chapter 6. Waters of Ireland and the UK
Chapter 7. Life and Death of Cold-Water Corals across the Mediterranean Sea
Chapter 8. Cold-Water Coral Reefs in the Oxygen Minimum Zones off West Africa
Chapter 9. New Zealand: South West Pacific Region
Chapter 10. Deep-Sea Corals of the North and Central Pacific Seamounts
Dr Erik E. Cordes is a Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Biology at Temple University and led the Cold-Water Coral chapters of the First and Second U.N. World Ocean Assessments. He has discovered and described new deep-sea coral habitats in temperate and tropical systems in the Atlantic and Pacific on over 30 research expeditions with manned and unmanned submersibles.
Dr Furu Mienis is a scientist at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research in the department of ocean systems. She has participated in over 30 research cruises, the majority of which were carried out to study cold-water coral reefs in the Atlantic. She mainly studies the environmental conditions and dynamics that influence the functioning of these vulnerable ecosystems in the deep sea.