Light and Temperature Drive the Distribution of Mesophotic Benthic Communities in the Central Indian Ocean

Diaz, C., Howell, K.L., Robinson, E., Hosegood, P., Bolton, A., Ganderton, P., Arber, P., Attrill, M.J., Foster, N.L. (2023) Light and temperature drive the distribution of mesophotic benthic communities in the Central Indian Ocean. Diversity and Distributions.


Research on mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs) has increased exponentially in recent decades, and the significance of this ecosystem has been recognised both in terms of biodiversity and distribution. However, this research has mostly focussed on corals and is globally sporadic, with the Indian Ocean remaining largely unexplored and overall MCEs under protected. Hence, baseline data on MCE benthic communities is lacking, but nonetheless essential for developing adequate management strategies. Here, we assess the variation in diversity and community structure of MCEs along the depth gradient and among sites in the Indian Ocean and the environmental parameters that are potentially driving these differences.

DOI: 10.1111/ddi.13777