Paragorgia arborea

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Paragorgia arborea
Paragorgia arborea.jpg
Paragorgia arborea
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Subclass: Hexacorallia
Order: Alcyonacea
Family: Paragorgiidae
Species: P. arborea
Binomial name
Paragorgia arborea
(Linnaeus, 1758) [1]

Paragorgia arborea is a species of coral in the family Paragorgiidae, commonly known as the bubblegum coral. It grows in depths between 200 metres (660 ft) and 1,300 metres (4,300 ft) at temperatures between 2 °C (36 °F) and 8 °C (46 °F).[2][3] It is found widespread in the northern Atlantic Ocean including on seamounts and knolls, and was first described by the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus in 1758.[1]

Description[edit]

Paragorgia arborea can grow to heights of 6 metres (20 ft), and are brightly coloured white, pink, red or orange, in a branching, fan-shaped structure with a tough central trunk and many branches. The branch tips are bulbous giving this octocoral its common name of bubblegum coral.[3]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Paragorgia arborea is well established in the North Atlantic Ocean where it generally grows at depths between 200 and 1,300 metres (700 and 4,300 ft). It occurs along the entire Norwegian coast, and at depths of 40 metres (130 ft) in Norwegian fjords, especially those with poor visibility and abundant planktonic life.[3] It often grows on reefs created by the stony coral Lophelia pertusa. Like other gorgonians, it prefers exposed locations with strong currents.[4] In the western Atlantic, it occurs in Nova Scotia waters including Oceanographer Canyon, off George's Bank, the Grand Banks, Davis Strait, and southern Greenland.[1]

Ecology[edit]

Paragorgia arborea is often associated with the Gorgon's Head basket star Gorgonocephalus caputmedusae which uses it as a perch on which to catch plankton drifting past.[4] It sometimes forms denge underwater forests with such octocorals as Primnoa resedaeformis, Paramuricea grandis and Keratoisis ornata and the sea pen Pennatula borealis.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c van Ofwegen, Leen (2015). "Paragorgia arborea (Linnaeus, 1758)". World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved 2015-08-15. 
  2. ^ "Bubble Gum Coral (Paragorgia arborea)". Encyclopedia of Life. Retrieved 4 September 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c "Sea Fan - Paragorgia arborea". SeaWater. Retrieved 4 September 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "Sea Fan - Paragorgia arborea". The Marine Flora & Fauna of Norway. 2015-05-29. Retrieved 2015-08-15. 
  5. ^ "Atlantic Canada". Ophelia.org. Deep-sea Conservation for the United Kingdom Project. Retrieved 2015-08-15.