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Uploaded on Tuesday 21 Feb 2012 by GRID-Arendal

Coldwater coral reefs, distribution

Year: 2010
From collection: Species distribution maps
Author: Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
Description:
Scientists are just beginning to learn about the many species in the remote, deep waters of the polar oceans. Corals, for example, are not limited to the warm, shallow waters of the tropics. They also exist in many cold, deep waters all over the world, including Arctic and sub-Antarctic waters. Coral reefs are marine ridges or mounds, which have formed over millennia as a result of the deposition of calcium carbonate by living organisms, predominantly corals, but also a rich diversity of other organisms such as coralline algae and shellfish. The coldwater reefs are highly susceptible to deep-sea trawling and ocean acidification from climate change, which has its greatest impacts at high latitudes, while tropical reefs will become severely damaged by rising sea temperatures.
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