de et al. 2016

scientific article | Mar Biodiv

Mesophotic ecosystems: coral and fish assemblages in a tropical marginal reef (northeastern Brazil)

de Oliveira Soares M, Davis M, de Paiva CC,de Macêdo Carneiro PB

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Mesophotic reefs (30–150 m depths) have recently become recognized as species-rich marine ecosystems, even in areas showing suboptimal conditions, like turbid water with sediment resuspension. The present study reports a qualitative survey focused on scleractinian coral and fish assemblages in a marginal reef (northeastern Brazil, southwestern Atlantic) at lower mesophotic depth. Data collection was conducted in the summer of 2016 by scuba diving at 35–37 m depths. The occurrence of scleractinian reef corals Siderastrea stellata and Montastraea cavernosa suggests that these two species can be important reef-builders in mesophotic ecosystems in northeastern Brazil. The fish assemblage was characterized by 33 observed species, representing a large variety of trophic categories. The compositions of coral and fish species showed similarities with those of shallow-water reefs in the area. This may become relevant in understanding the connectivity between shallow and deep populations in the light of mesophotic reefs serving as refugia.

Research sites

10.1007   s12526 016 0615 x
Meta-data (pending validation)
Depth range
35- 37 m

Mesophotic “mentions”
37 x (total of 2273 words)

Biodiversity Ecology

Research focus
Fishes Scleractinia (Hard Corals)

Brazil - Eastern Brazil

Research platforms
Diving (unspecified)
Author profiles