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Northeastern Atlantic cold-water coral reefs and climate
Frank, N.; Freiwald, A.; López Correa, M.; Wienberg, C.; Eisele, M.; Hebbeln, D.; Van Rooij, D.; Henriet, J.-P.; Colin, C.; van Weering, T.; de Haas, H.; Buhl-Mortensen, P.; Murray Roberts, J.; De Mol, B.; Douville, E.; Blamart, D.; Hatté, C. (2011). Northeastern Atlantic cold-water coral reefs and climate. Geology (Boulder Colo.) 39(8): 743-746. dx.doi.org/10.1130/G31825.1
In: Geology. Geological Society of America: Boulder. ISSN 0091-7613, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Frank, N.
  • Freiwald, A., more
  • López Correa, M.
  • Wienberg, C.
  • Eisele, M.
  • Hebbeln, D., more
  • Van Rooij, D., more
  • Henriet, J.-P., more
  • Colin, C.
  • van Weering, T., more
  • de Haas, H., more
  • Buhl-Mortensen, P., more
  • Murray Roberts, J.
  • De Mol, B., more
  • Douville, E.
  • Blamart, D.
  • Hatté, C.

Abstract
    U-series age patterns obtained on reef framework–forming cold-water corals collected over a nearly 6000-km-long continental margin sector, extending from off Mauritania (17°N; northwest Africa) to the southwestern Barents Sea (70°N; northeastern Europe), reveal strong climate influences on the geographical distribution and sustained development of these ecosystems. Over the past three glacial-interglacial cycles, framework-forming cold-water corals (Lophelia pertusa and Madrepora oculata) seem to have predominantly populated reefs, canyons, and patches in the temperate East Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea. Above 50°N corals colonize reefs in the northern East Atlantic primarily during warm climate periods with the biogeographic limit advancing from ~50°N to ~70°N. We propose that north-south oscillations of the biogeographic limit of reef developments are paced by ice ages and may occur synchronously with north-south displacement of cold nutrient-rich intermediate waters and surface productivity related to changes of the polar front.

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