Coral mounds on the West Florida slope: unanswered questions regarding the development of deep-water banks.

Cathryn R Newton, H. T. Mullins, A. F. Gardulski, A. C. Hine, G. R. Dix

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Abstract

Late Pleistocene deep-water coral mounds of 10-15 m relief occur in a 20 km linear zone parallel to the 500 m isobath along the West Florida carbonate-ramp slope. These relict mounds were constructed by the densely calcified, ahermatypic framework builder, Lophelia prolifera, and provided habitats for a host of associated invertebrates. Scleractinian diversity and taxonomic composition are congruent with those of other Lophelia buildups in the North Atlantic. The scleractinians also retain primary mineralogic, isotopic, and trace-element geochemical signatures, indicating relatively little diagenetic alteration. The small but rapidly expanding global data base on deep-water coral mounds has magnified two key questions: first, what are the principal ecologic controls on dominance within communities of deep-water framework builders? second, why are there so many relict and so few living and deep-water mounds in the modern ocean? -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-367
Number of pages9
JournalPalaios
Volume2
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1987

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Palaeontology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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