Distribution of Scleractinia (Madrepora oculata and Lophelia pertusa) reported between 1995 and 2013 in the French Mediterranean Sea

In the Mediterranean deep-sea two scleractinian species, Lophelia pertusa (= Desmophyllum pertusum) and Madrepora oculata, make up the dominant structure-forming corals.

The Lacaze-Duthiers canyon is the only French Mediterranean canyon where the two species L. pertusa and M. oculata have been observed living together in large quantities, the situation generally described for the biocoenosis of cold-water corals (CWC). In this canyon large colonies (more than 40 cm) of both species of scleractinians were observed at depths ranging from 246 m to 541 m at the head of the canyon and its western flank.

The second canyon is the Cassidaigne canyon, where M. oculata seems to be the only structure-forming scleractinian there. The largest concentration of M. oculata colonies was observed on the west flank of the canyon along a crest at depths ranging from 200 to 210 m. Mature M. oculata colonies attained heights up to 40 cm.

M. oculata were observed in three other canyons: Bourcart, Sicié and Var. In the Bourcart canyon, M. oculata was observed on a shelf of hard substratum at 331 m depth. Several single branches protruded from a slab. In the Sicié canyon a 15-cm colony of M. oculata was observed at 255 m depth, while in the Var canyon, three young branches 2 cm long were seen growing at 350 m depth on a wall of hard rock.


Biological oceanography


Cold-water corals, Habitat mapping, Distribution, Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems, Biodiversity


43.7N, 42S, 7.3E, 3W


Data was collected and identified using videos and High Definition images taken by manned submersibles or Remote Operated Vehicles (ROVs).

Identification of species is based on images. Geographical coordinates of occurrences are based on navigation tracks of underwater gears.

Data used to build this dataset come from the following cruises:

CYATOX_1995, MARUM_2009, ESSROV_2010, MARUM_SECKENBERG_2011, ESSNAUT_2013, MEDSEACAN (2008-2009)



Distribution of Madrepora oculata and Lophelia pertusa in the French Mediterranean Sea (1995-2013)
267 KoCSVQuality controlled data
How to cite
Fabri Marie-Claire, Pedel Laura, Bargain Annaelle (2019). Distribution of Scleractinia (Madrepora oculata and Lophelia pertusa) reported between 1995 and 2013 in the French Mediterranean Sea. SEANOE. https://doi.org/10.17882/61347
In addition to properly cite this dataset, it would be appreciated that the following work(s) be cited too, when using this dataset in a publication :
Fabri Marie-Claire, Bargain Annaelle, Pairaud Ivane, Pedel Laura, Taupier-Letage I. (2017). Cold-water coral ecosystems in Cassidaigne Canyon: An assessment of their environmental living conditions. Deep-sea Research Part Ii-topical Studies In Oceanography. 137. 436-453. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2016.06.006, https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00343/45373/
Fabri Marie-Claire, Pedel Laura, Beuck L., Galgani Francois, Hebbeln D., Freiwald A. (2014). Megafauna of vulnerable marine ecosystems in French mediterranean submarine canyons: Spatial distribution and anthropogenic impacts. Deep-sea Research Part Ii-topical Studies In Oceanography. 104. 184-207. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2013.06.016, https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00154/26513/

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