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Title: Biodiversity and Functional Ecology of Mesophotic Coral Reefs
Mesophotic coral reefs, currently defined as deep reefs between 30 and 150 m, are linked physically and biologically to their shallow water counterparts, have the potential to be refuges for shallow coral reef taxa such as coral and sponges, and might be a source of larvae that could contribute to the resiliency of shallow water reefs. Mesophotic coral reefs are found worldwide, but most are undescribed and understudied. Here, we review our current knowledge of mesophotic coral reefs and their functional ecology as it relates to their geomorphology, changes in the abiotic environment along depth gradients, trophic ecology, their reproduction, and their connectivity to shallow depths. Understanding the ecology of mesophotic coral reefs, and the connectivity between them and their shallow water counterparts, is now a primary focus for many reef studies as the worldwide degradation of shallow coral reefs, and the ecosystem services they provide, continues unabated.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics
Page Range / eLocation ID:
49 to 71
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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