Living in the Canopy of the Animal Forest: Physical and Biogeochemical Aspects

Katell Guizien, Marco Ghisalberti

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review


    Long-lived hard and soft coral species that are able to develop dense patches with a complex, three-dimensional structure form an animal forest canopy, similar to trees in terrestrial systems. Aside from the shelter provided by this canopy to other organisms, the animal forest can significantly modify the local physical and biogeochemical environment.

    In the first part of this chapter, the modification of benthic boundary layer hydrodynamics in and above canopies is described, with a focus on the impacts of canopy density and flexibility. In the second part of this chapter, the structure of diffusive and advective mass transfer in canopies will be presented and discussed in relation to the biogeochemical transformations observed in animal forest canopies. Ongoing challenges in the conceptualization of physical and biogeochemical processes in animal forest canopies are also exposed. In the third part of this chapter, we review the factors that form the basis of a mechanistic explanation of the development of micro-niches, which explain the large diversity hosted in animal forest canopies.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationMarine Animal Forests
    Subtitle of host publicationThe Ecology of Benthic Biodiversity Hotspots
    EditorsSergio Rossi, Lorenzo Bramanti, Andrea Gori, Covadonga Orejas
    PublisherSpringer International Publishing
    Number of pages22
    ISBN (Electronic)9783319170015
    ISBN (Print)9783319170015
    Publication statusPublished - 28 Dec 2016


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