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Marine Habitat Classification

Description of biotope or habitat type

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   Mixed coral assemblage on Atlantic upper bathyal Lophelia pertusa reef framework (biogenic structure)

Physical habitat description

Salinity Full (30-35 ppt)
Wave exposure
Tidal streams
Substratum Rock and other hard substrata - Lophelia pertusa coral framework
Zone Atlantic upper bathyal
Depth Band Biotope depth range 200 - 600 m (based on zone); assemblage recorded from 458 - 1183 m; most common depth 865 m
Other Features

Download comparative physical and biological data. The comparative tables enable a rapid comparison of the species composition and principal physical characteristics between a given set of biotopes.

Distribution of habitat M.AtUB.Bi.CorRee.LopFra Mixed coral assemblage on Atlantic upper bathyal <i>Lophelia pertusa</i> reef framework  (biogenic structure)

  • Records used to define the biotope (core records)
  • Other records assigned to this biotope, marked as 'certain'
  • Other records assigned to this biotope, marked as 'uncertain'
  • Predicted extent of the level 3 (for sublittoral rock & deep sea) or 4 (for sublittoral sediment) habitat

Point data based on records in the UK Marine Recorder Snapshot. Predicted habitat extent is from UKSeaMap.


This biotope represents the extensive, mostly dead, framework of Lophelia pertusa that support a high diversity of species including various other corals such as Caryophylliidae, Stichopathes gravieri, Antipathella, Acanthogorgia armarta and Leiopathes. Other conspicuous taxa include anemone Phelliactis and encrusting sponges. This may be found associated with Lophelia pertusa reef summit or may form beneath escarpments where live colonies of Lophelia pertusa grow but subsequently break off and form a rubble framework. The same assemblage is found in the mid bathyal but associated species are likely to vary. Characterising species listed refer to all mixed coral on Lophelia reef framework assemblages not just those found associated with the zone and substrate specified in this biotope.
Note: Although Lophelia pertusa (Linnaeus, 1758) is accepted as Desmophyllum pertusum (Linnaeus, 1758) in WoRMS, the molecular evidence is uncertain at present (2021) to grant a change in its taxonomic nomenclature. This will be revised once further evidence becomes available.


No situation data available.

Temporal variation

No temporal variation data available.

Characterising species

Taxon % of core records where taxon was recorded
Lophelia pertusa
Stichopathes gravieri
Madrepora oculata
Acanthogorgia armata
Porifera encrusting (pale - yellow, white, grey, cream, pink
Porifera encrusting (blue)
Porifera encrusting (orange)

Similar biotopes or habitat types

Deeper assemblage in the lower bathyal where mixed corals occur on Solenosmilia variabilis framework.

The same epifaunal assemblage in the mid bathyal. Associated fauna may differ.

Live Lophelia pertusareef. Often surrounded by dead framework.

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