The surprising diversity of deep-sea corals


ANALYSIS – A study conducted in French Polynesia has discovered a peak in the variety of species living between 40 and 60 meters deep.

Those who have had the chance to swim in the crystal clear waters of French Polynesia know it well, no need to go very deep to admire the coral reefs. Dependent on light, these animals are very widespread in the zone of 0-20 meters where the light rays penetrate best. It is also in this area that most research on corals has been concentrated. But in recent years, the interest of some scientists has been in deeper areas, for which very little data exists.

Thanks to a collaboration between the Center for Insular Research and Environmental Observatory (Criobe) and Under The Pole, a meticulous study has been carried out in French Polynesia on the reefs that live up to more than 100 meters deep, in the so-called “mesophotic” zone where the light decreases but remains present. The results published in the journal Diversity and Distribution turned out to be surprising. “Corals…

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