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Lophelia pertusa


reefs up to hundreds of square kilometers


white, pink or yellowish



  • Dut:Lophelia (traliekoraal)
  • Lat: Lophelia pertusa
  • Eng: see Latin
  • Ger: see Latin
  • Fre: see Latin
Lophelia, marc lavalije


Lophelia is one of the best known coldwater coral species. The reefs can grow up to 50 centimeters in height. Because this species lives so deep, it is difficult to find it. Studies of coldwater coral are taking place more often, so that more reefs are being discovered. In 1999, a large reef was found close to Norway. The reefs of Lophelia offer shelter to many other species, such as crustaceans, Norway redfish and marine fungi.

  • Threats

    Lophelia is threatened nowadays in various ways. It lives in areas rich in nutrients. These areas are also attractive for fish and therefore popular for fisheries. Studies have shown that fisheries produce much damage to the reefs. In 2002, a study of the effect of fisheries on the reefs in Norway was made. One estimated that 30 to 50% of the reefs had been damaged or even disappeared due to fisheries. Oil and gas exploitation also damage the reefs. Climate change has resulted in the sea absorbing more CO2, which makes the seawater more acidic. Acid dissolves calcium, which means that Lophelia is can't build reefs as quickly. Normally speaking a reef only grows 1 millimeter per year.