This review paper is devoted to the deep-sea (cold-water) coral communities of the North Pacific. The composition of these communities differs from that of the deep-sea coral communities of the Atlantic Ocean and the South Pacific. In the former case, the community structure is mainly determined by octocorals (soft and horn corals, sea pens) and stylasterids; in the latter case, the dominant coral group is hard (true) corals (order Scleractinia). The distribution of corals in the North Pacific is described. The main threats to deep-sea coral communities, primarily bottom trawling and oil and gas exploration and extraction, are discussed. The locations of deep-sea coral communities in the Kuril Islands region were found for the first time. The most interesting and endangered sites are proposed for the creation of marine protected areas, viz., the southern and middle Kuril Islands and Kashevarov Bank.
Russian Journal of Marine Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 8, 2015
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