MEPS 516:275-280 (2014)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps10997

REVIEW
Lophelia pertusa conservation in the North Sea using obsolete offshore structures as artificial reefs

Paulina Bergmark, Dolly Jørgensen*

Department of Ecology & Environmental Science, Umeå University, 90187 Umeå, Sweden
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Deep-water coral reefs are classified as vulnerable marine ecosystems, with trawling identified as the primary cause of reef destruction. Lophelia pertusa is the main reef-building species in deep-water coral reefs. In addition to occurring on natural hard substrates, the species has been previously observed on standing offshore oil and gas structures in the North Sea. In this study, we review the available published information about Lophelia growth on standing offshore oil and gas industry structures in the North Sea. We discuss the potential uses of obsolete offshore structures repurposed as artificial reefs for targeted Lophelia habitat. Our survey of previous studies indicates that artificial reefs created from obsolete structures have a strong potential to form Lophelia reef communities similar to those found on natural substrates, although the absence of the polychaete worm Eunice norvegica poses some concerns about the completeness of the coral communities that develop on artificial reef structures.


KEY WORDS: Artificial reefs · Coral reef · Cold-water corals · Eunice norvegica · Offshore oil platforms · North Sea


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Cite this article as: Bergmark P, Jørgensen D (2014) Lophelia pertusa conservation in the North Sea using obsolete offshore structures as artificial reefs. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 516:275-280. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps10997

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