Marine & Environmental Sciences Faculty Books and Book Chapters

Cold-Water Corals of the World: Gulf of Mexico

Cold-Water Corals of the World: Gulf of Mexico

Book Title

Cold-Water Coral Reefs of the World

Files

Document Type

Book Chapter

Editors

Erik Cordes, Furu Mienis

Description

[Chapter Abstract] The Gulf of Mexico is a semi-enclosed sea that borders the USA and Mexico and covers approximately 1.5 million square kilometers. The northern Gulf is topographically complex and is a rich source of oil and gas deposits, which has led to a great deal of research on benthic ecosystems from the coastal zone to the deep sea. While not fully explored, the distribution of cold seeps and deep corals in the northern Gulf is reasonably well described. The eastern Gulf has a moratorium on energy industry development and consequently less exploration and research has been conducted in this region; however, recent explorations have revealed deep scleractinian reefs on the west Florida slope and extensive octocoral gardens on the deep escarpment. The Gulf is a productive sea with lucrative fisheries in addition to oil and gas. Exploitation of natural resources and potential climate change impacts threaten vulnerable ecosystems in the Gulf, including those in the deep sea. This chapter describes the oceanography and geology of the Gulf of Mexico, presents the current state of the knowledge of cold-water coral distribution, physiology and ecology, and provides an assessment of the threats to these vulnerable ecosystems.

ISBN

978-3-031-40897-7

Publication Date

12-28-2023

Publisher

Springer, Cham

Keywords

Coral reef, Deep sea, Geology, Salt tectonics, Loop current, Scleractinian, Coral biology, Microbiome, Deep-sea ecology

Disciplines

Marine Biology

Comments

© 2023 The Author(s)

ORCID ID

0000-0002-5280-7071

DOI

10.1007/978-3-031-40897-7_3

Cold-Water Corals of the World: Gulf of Mexico
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