Lophelia pertusa reefs are one of the 5 deep-sea habitats
listed by OSPAR as threatened and / or declining.
Lophelia pertusa is the dominant reef framework building coral found in the northeast Atlantic. Lophelia is a stony azooxanthellae coral (Scleractinia) that feeds on passing food particles and stuns prey using specialised stinging cells before snatching them out of the water column with its tentacles. Lophelia polyps secrete a calcareous skeleton, which is usually bright white with translucent polyps, but can occur in yellow and pink varieties.
Dense aggregations of Lophelia commonly lead to the formation of large biogenic reefs. These reefs can extend for thousands of metres at heights from 2 - 30 m. Lophelia reefs can support an amazing amount of biodiversity; 1317 species have been discovered to date by the Atlantic Coral Ecosystem Study (ACES).