A comparative study of the meio-epifauna associated with tropical and cold water coral reefs

Completed: January 2003 - December 2006

Because of their different regional and historical context a comparison of the biodiversity of the meio-epifauna in both tropical versus cold water coral reefs ecosystem can give a better insight in the importance of local impacts and regional processes for the present biodiverity. It is estimated to what extent the biodiversity (local and regional) increases in a coral reef due to the presence of specialized taxa, living in association with particular substrate types. In addition it is evaluated if this increase in biodiversity is linked (or not) to other environmental characteristics, and/or to the diverging historical context (regional processes) of a tropical and coldwater coral reef.