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Facies

, Volume 54, Issue 3, pp 317–331 | Cite as

The distribution of scleractinian corals in the Bay of Biscay, NE Atlantic

  • Julie ReveillaudEmail author
  • Andre Freiwald
  • David Van Rooij
  • Erwan Le Guilloux
  • Alvaro Altuna
  • Anneleen Foubert
  • Ann Vanreusel
  • Karine Olu-Le Roy
  • Jean-Pierre Henriet
Original Article

Abstract

Studies on the distribution of scleractinian corals in the Bay of Biscay were relatively numerous during the nineteenth and the first half of the twentieth century. Yet, recent reports are scattered, sometimes unpublished, and therefore knowledge about the current coral occurrence in the area is limited. This study aims at compiling the available historical and more recently collected information on the occurrence of scleractinian corals in the Bay of Biscay. Data from two recent cruises are included and compared with previous explored coral sites from as early as 1830 up to 1995. A database of 347 records including 34 described species of scleractinians highlights that the slope of the Bay of Biscay is an important habitat for scleractinians. This could be expected due to the high topographic relief providing the necessary hard substrate and accelerated bottom current flow that corals require. Further exploration of the occurrence and ecology of corals in the area is recommended to support the conservation of cold-water coral reefs along the European margin.

Keywords

Cold-water corals Scleractinia Slope Bay of Biscay Biodiversity 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge the captains and crew of R/V Belgica and R/V Victor Hensen. The former cruise contributed to the objectives of the EU FP5 “EURODOM” Research and Training Network (HPRN-CT-2002-00212) and the ESF EuroMargins “MoundForce” project. This research was supported by the HERMES project, EC contract No. GOCE-CT-2005-511234, funded by the EC FP6 Programme under the priority “Sustainable Development, Global Change and Ecosystems”. The first author was supported by IWT.

Supplementary material

10347_2008_138_MOESM1_ESM.xls (74 kb)
Table with station coordinates and sampling depths of scleractinian corals from various research cruises dedicated to the Bay of Biscay, grouped by species (XLS 74 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julie Reveillaud
    • 1
    Email author
  • Andre Freiwald
    • 2
  • David Van Rooij
    • 3
  • Erwan Le Guilloux
    • 4
  • Alvaro Altuna
    • 5
  • Anneleen Foubert
    • 3
  • Ann Vanreusel
    • 1
  • Karine Olu-Le Roy
    • 4
  • Jean-Pierre Henriet
    • 3
  1. 1.Marine Biology Section, Biology DepartmentGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  2. 2.GeoZentrum Nordbayern, Universität Erlangen-NürnbergErlangenGermany
  3. 3.Renard Centre of Marine Geology (RCMG), Department of Geology and Soil ScienceGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  4. 4.Département Etudes des Ecosystèmes ProfondsIFREMER Centre de BrestPlouzaneFrance
  5. 5.INSUBSan SebastiánSpain

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