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Deep-Sea Coral and Ground Fish Diversity


Researcher:  Drs Evan Edinger and Alvin Simms

Deep-sea corals host a wide diversity of invertebrate species, and may provide important, but not obligate, habitat for some species of fish.  Fish assemblages in areas with corals appear to be more diverse than in areas without corals, and abundance of certain species is higher in coral-rich areas than non-coral areas.

Study of past groundfish diversity and abundance patterns since 1970 suggests that certain fish species were consistently most abundant in specific areas of the continental shelf and slope, and that many of these areas coincide with coral abundance or diversity hotspots. Study of archival fish data allows us to examine abundance patterns in relation to corals before the collapse of many groundfish stocks in the early 1990s.


E.N. Edinger, V.E. Wareham, A. Simms, and R.L. Haedrich. (2005) Patterns of groundfish diversity and abundance and deep-sea coral distributions in Newfoundland and Labrador waters.3rd International Symposium on Deep-Sea corals, Miami, Florida.