Within each of the sections on corals we have highlighted some of the scientific literature available; click on the icons to link you to the literature online.  We've tried to collate this information into an easy to navigate format with references sorted into broad categories. For example, ecology contains the widest series of publications including feeding, occurrence and reproduction among other areas. Taxonomy deals with the discovery and description of new species. Conservation contains information on the impact of human activities and management and conservation initiatives.

For an overview of this fast moving field see the 2009 Cambridge University Press book 'Cold-water Corals' and follow the links below.


Review paper, 'Reefs of the Deep'


Reefs of the Deep Review page 1

Discoveries about the biology and geology of cold-water coral ecosystems are happening at an ever increasing rate. In 2006 J. Murray Roberts, Andrew Wheeler and AndrĂ© Freiwald summarised these exciting developments. You can download this paper for free by following the links below.

Roberts JM, Wheeler AJ & Freiwald A (2006) "Reefs of the Deep: The Biology and Geology of Cold-Water Coral Ecosystems." Science, 213: 543-547 Abstract  Full Text  PDF

General literature on cold-water corals



The biology, distribution and conservation status of cold-water corals are discussed in detail in the 2004 United Nations Environment Programme report "Cold-water Coral Reefs: Out of Sight - No Longer Out of Mind".



PDF Report (High quality 17mb, Low Quality 2mb)


'Cold-water Corals and Ecosystems' is a compilation of research papers edited by AndrĂ© Freiwald and Murray Roberts. It was published by Springer in 2005.

For a more recent summary see the 2009 Cambridge University Press book by Roberts et al. 'Cold Water Corals: The biology and Geology of Deep-Sea Coral habitats' 


The biology of Lophelia pertusa and other cold-water corals was also reviewed by A.D. Rogers in 1999 and forms an excellent place to start for in-depth data on many aspects of cold-water coral biology.

Rogers AD (1999) "The biology of Lophelia pertusa (Linnaeus 1758) and other deep- water reef-forming corals and impacts from human activities." International Review Of Hydrobiology 84: 315-406.


 In 2008 Springer-Praxis published 'Deep-water coral reefs: Unique biodiversity hotspots' by Martin Hovland


 In 2007 NOAA in the United States published 'The state of deep coral ecosystems of the United States'

Lumsden SE, Hourigan TF, Bruckner AW, Dorr G (Eds.) (2007)  The State of Deep Coral Ecosystems of the United States.  NOA ATechnical Memorandum CRCP-3.  Silver Spring MD