Understanding coldwater coral ecosystems on the Great Barrier Reef margin
September 17, 2009

Authors: Beaman, R. J.

Year: 2009

Publication: Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering (AINSE) Progress Report for AINGRA09006, pp. 5.


In 2007, we mapped the spectacular submarine landscape on the Great Barrier Reef margin. This included a completely new coldwater coral habitat in the depths of the Queensland Trough. Coldwater coral habitats are important globally as hotspots of biodiversity on the deep seabed, but their ecology is poorly understood and the corals are vulnerable to damage. The project will study the origins and biodiversity of the coldwater corals, and to understand the role of the landscape in defining the habitat boundaries. 14C AMS ages of the biogenic and non-biogenic carbonate samples will be a major contribution to the overall aims of the project.

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