Climate change affects deep-sea corals and sponges differently

Date: April 23, 2021

Source: ScienceDaily

Corals and sponges are important foundations in ocean ecosystems providing structure and habitats that shelter a high number of species like fish, crabs and other creatures, particularly in the seamounts and canyons of the deep sea. Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have discovered that when it comes to climate change not all deep-sea corals and sponges are affected the same and some could be threatened if average ocean temperatures continue to increase in the deep sea of the Northwest Atlantic.

“These deep-sea corals and sponges are ecologically important because they are foundational species that contribute to the food web and losing them could eventually lower the biodiversity of the deep sea,” said Jennifer Dijkstra, a research assistant professor in UNH’s Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping.

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