There are more coral species in deep, cold-waters than in tropical coral reefs. This broad-ranging treatment is the first to synthesise current understanding of all types of cold-water coral, covering their ecology, biology, palaeontology and geology.
Beginning with a history of research in the field, the authors describe the approaches needed to study corals in the deep sea. They consider coral habitats created by stony scleractinian as well as octocoral species. The importance of corals as long-lived geological structures and palaeoclimate archives is discussed, in addition to ways in which they can be conserved. Topic boxes explain unfamiliar concepts, and case studies summarise significant studies, coral habitats or particular conservation measures.
Written for professionals and students of marine science, this text is enhanced by an extensive glossary, online resources, and a unique collection of colour photographs and illustrations of corals and the habitats they form.
1. History and research approaches
2. Cold-water corals
4. Reefs and mounds
5. Habitats and ecology
7. Corals as archives
8. Impacts and conservation
J. Murray Roberts is a marine biologist at the Scottish Association for Marine Science. His research focuses on the biology and ecology of cold-water corals.
Andrew Wheeler is Senior Lecturer and coordinator of marine and freshwater research at University College Cork. His research currently focuses on seabed mapping and sedimentology of cold-water coral carbonate mounds.
André Freiwald is chair of palaeontology at the GeoZentrum Nordbayern, Erlangen. His research focuses on cold-water corals, cool-water carbonates, and bioerosion.
Stephen Cairns is a Research Zoologist at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. As a systematist he has described approximately 350 new deep-water coral species from around the world.
"Roberts, Wheeler, Freiwald and Cairns have produced a remarkable text that will set the standard for many years to come. From the early discoveries of these remarkable organisms to details of biology, distribution and current research, this is a comprehensive volume bringing together hitherto scattered information."
– Professor Imants (Monty) G. Priede, Oceanlab, University of Aberdeen
"Roberts, Wheeler, Freiwald and Cairns' Cold-Water Corals is the finest review of the cold-water corals available now and likely for some time to come. Comprehensive and authoritative, it covers their exploration, geology, biology and ecology, human impacts, and their outlook in a warming, acidifying ocean. A must for anyone interested in this fascinating but still poorly known deep-sea fauna."
– Tony Koslow, Director, California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations (CalCOFI), Scripps Institution of Oceanography
"Over half the known coral species in the world's oceans are not in tropical shallow water but in the deep sea at depths greater than 200 m. This volume represents a major benchmark in our understanding of deep-water coral habitats and provides a springboard for the continuing studies of these dynamic and biodiverse environments in the deep sea."
– Paul Tyler, National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton
"The major merit of this book is both to demonstrate the richness of cold water coral ecosystems and their ecological complexity but also their vulnerability, the gaps in our knowledge and the need to protect them rapidly."
– Denis Allemand, Nice-Sophia Antipolis University and Scientific Director of the Centre Scientifique de Monaco
"This is an absorbing, well-written book that does an excellent job of concisely presenting a huge amount of information. It is enhanced by excellent illustrations and figures, a glossary and case studies, as well as online supplementary material [...] those with an interest in marine science will find it a great addition to their bookshelf."
– Bulletin of the British Ecological Society