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Brief Summary

Lophelia is a common cold-water coral, found throughout the ocean, generally at depths between 200 and 1000 meters, though there are records from as shallow as 40 m and as deep as 3000 m.  Like familiar shallow/warm-water corals, Lophelia secretes a hard calcium carbonate skeleton, making it a reef-forming coral. It can form large reef systems, with complex three-dimensional structure, creating habitat for thousands of other species. (Fosså, 2011; Lophelia.org)

Author(s): Soulanille, Elaine
Rights holder(s): Soulanille, Elaine



Lophelia has been found between 40 and 3000 m depth (generally between 200-2000m) in cold water between 4°C and 12°C attached to substrates that include whale carcasses, rock, and calcium carbonate deposts. (Schroeder, 2002; TRACES, 2010; Fosså, 2011).

Author(s): Soulanille, Elaine
Rights holder(s): Soulanille, Elaine


Lophelia occurs throughout the cold-temperate through tropical ocean, usually at depths between 200 and 2000 m and in temperatures between 4°C and 12°C (Coll et al., 2010; Danovaro et al., 2010; Fautin et al., 2010; TRACES, 2010; Fosså, 2011).

Author(s): Soulanille, Elaine
Rights holder(s): Soulanille, Elaine

Taxonomic Children

Total: 1

Lophelia pertusa (Linnaeus, 1758)


Coll, M., Piroddi C., Steenbeek J., Kaschner K., Ben Rais Lasram F., Aguzzi J., et al. (2010).  The Biodiversity of the Mediterranean Sea: Estimates, Patterns, and Threats. PLoS ONE. 5(8), e11842.
Cordes, E. E., McGinley M. P., Podowski E. L., Becker E. L., Lessard-Pilon S., Viada S. T., et al. (2008).  Coral communities of the deep Gulf of Mexico. Deep Sea Research Part 1. 55, 777-787.
Costello, M. J., McCrea M., Freiwald A., Lundälv T., Jonsson L., Bett B. J., et al. (2005).  Erlangen Earth Conference SeriesCold-Water Corals and EcosystemsRole of cold-water Lophelia pertusa coral reefs as fish habitat in the NE Atlantic. (Freiwald A., Roberts M.J., Ed.).Cold-Water Corals & Ecosystems . VI, 771 - 805. Berlin/Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag. Abstract
Danovaro, R., Company J B., Corinaldesi C., D'Onghia G., Galil B., Gambi C., et al. (2010).  Deep-Sea Biodiversity in the Mediterranean Sea: The Known, the Unknown, and the Unknowable. PLoS ONE. 5(8), e11832.
Davies, A. J., Wisshak M., Orr J. C., & Murray Roberts J. (2008).  Predicting suitable habitat for the cold-water coral Lophelia pertusa (Scleractinia). Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers. 55(8), 1048 - 1062. Abstract
Fautin, D., Dalton P., Incze L. S., Leong J-A. C., Pautzke C., Rosenberg A., et al. (2010).  An Overview of Marine Biodiversity in United States Waters. PLoS ONE. 5(8), e11914.
Fosså, J H. (2011).  Coral reefs in the North Atlantic?. 2011, Copenhagen, Denmark: International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES/CIEM). Abstract
Fosså, J. H., Mortensen P. B., & Furevik D. M. (2002).  The deep-water coral Lophelia pertusa in Norwegian waters: distribution and fishery impact. Hydrobiologia. 471(1/3), 1 - 12. Abstract
Guinotte, J. M., Orr J., Cairns S., Freiwald A., Morgan L., & George R. (2006).  Will human-induced changes in seawater chemistry alter the distribution of deep-sea scleractinian corals?. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 4(3), 141 - 146. Abstract
Jensen, A., & Frederiksen R. (1992).   The fauna associated with the bank-forming deepwater coral Lophelia pertusa (Scleractinaria) on the Faroe shelf. Sarsia. 77, 53-69. Abstract
LeGoff-Vitry, M. C., Pybus O. G., & Rogers A. D. (2004).  Genetic structure of the deep-sea coral Lophelia pertusa in the northeast Atlantic revealed by microsatellites and internal transcribed spacer sequences. Molecular Ecology. 13, 537-549.
Morrison, C. L., Eackles M. S., Johnson R. L., & King T. L. (2008).  Characterization of 13 microsatellite loci for the deep-sea coral, Lophelia pertusa (Linnaeus 1758), from the western North Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. Molecular Ecology Resources. 8, 1037-1039.
Reed, J. K., Weaver D. C., & Pomponi S. A. (2006).  Habitat and fauna of deep-water Lophelia pertusa coral reefs off the southeastern U.S.: Blake plateau, Straits of Florida, and Gulf of Mexico. Bulletin of Marine Science. 78, 343-375. Abstract
Roberts, M. J., & Wicks L. (2011).  Lophelia.org. 2011, Lophelia.org is run by J Murray Roberts and Laura Wicks at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland.. Abstract
Roberts, M. J., Wheeler A. J., Freiwald A., & Cairns S. D. (2009).  Cold-water corals : the biology and geology of deep-sea coral habitats. 334. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Rogers, A. D. (1999).  The biology of Lophelia pertusa (Linnaeus 1758) and other deep-water reef-forming corals and impacts from human activities. International Review of Hydrobiology. 84, 315-406. Abstract
Schroeder, W. W. (2002).  Observations of Lophelia pertusa and the surficial geology at a deep-water site in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico. Hydrobiologia. 471(1/3), 29 - 33. Abstract
Wilson, J. B. (1979).  ‘Patch’ development of the deep-water coral Lophelia Pertusa (L.) on Rockall Bank. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. 59(01), 165. Abstract