Mesophotic coral reef

A Mesophotic coral reef, from meso meaning middle and photic meaning light, is characterised by the presence of both light dependent coral and algae, and organisms that can be found in water with low light penetration. They normally grow between 30 and 40 metres (130 ft) and up to 150 metres (490 ft) in tropical and subtropical water. The most common species at the mesophotic level are corals, sponges and algae. The corals ranges can overlap with Deep-water coral but are distinguished by the presence of zooxanthellae and their requirement for light. They can also be thought of as part of shallow water coral ecosystems, and a crossover of coral species between the two is common. It is thought that these corals could be used as sources for reseeding shallow water coral species.[1] The oldest known mesophotic coral ecosystems have been described from the Silurian of Sweden,[2] such ecosystems are also known from Devonian.[3] Oldest scleractinian-dominated mesophotic ecosystems are known from the Triassic [4][5]

See also


  1. Baker, E.K., Puglise, K.A., Harris, P.T., 2016. Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems — A lifeboat for coral reefs? The United Nations Environment Programme and GRID-Arendal, Nairobi and Arendal, 98 pp.
  2. Zapalski, Mikołaj K.; Berkowski, Błażej (2019-02-01). "The Silurian mesophotic coral ecosystems: 430 million years of photosymbiosis". Coral Reefs. 38 (1): 137–147. doi:10.1007/s00338-018-01761-w. ISSN 1432-0975.
  3. Zapalski, Mikołaj K.; Wrzołek, Tomasz; Skompski, Stanisław; Berkowski, Błażej (2017-09-01). "Deep in shadows, deep in time: the oldest mesophotic coral ecosystems from the Devonian of the Holy Cross Mountains (Poland)". Coral Reefs. 36 (3): 847–860. doi:10.1007/s00338-017-1575-8. ISSN 1432-0975.
  4. Kołodziej, Bogusław; Salamon, Klaudiusz; Morycowa, Elżbieta; Szulc, Joachim; Łabaj, Marcelina A. (2018-01-15). "Platy corals from the Middle Triassic of Upper Silesia, Poland: Implications for photosymbiosis in the first scleractinians". Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 490: 533–545. doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2017.11.039. ISSN 0031-0182.
  5. Martindale, Rowan C.; Bottjer, David J.; Corsetti, Frank A. (2012-01-01). "Platy coral patch reefs from eastern Panthalassa (Nevada, USA): Unique reef construction in the Late Triassic". Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 313-314: 41–58. doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2011.10.007. ISSN 0031-0182.

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