Mapping the spread of deepwater white coral

Through successful propagation of deep sea corals in the laboratory, researchers have been able to map the development and behaviour of coral larvae to better understand how they spread and how reefs can be protected in the future.

“As with all organisms affixed to one place, the larva stage is the only way for Lophelia pertusa deepwater white coral to spread into new areas and to ensure genetic exchange between different populations,” says Susanna Strömberg, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences.

Deepwater white coral is a reef-building coral found at depths of 40 to more than 3,300 metres from the Barents Sea to the edge of Antarctica.