Flower Garden Banks National Marine SanctuaryNote: The data were entered in the language of the country of origin (English, French or Spanish) and there is no translation available yet.
Chapter 3. SITE DESCRIPTION
c - Biological features
Brief description of dominant and particular habitats (marine and terrestrial)*: List here the habitats and ecosystems that are representative and/or of importance for the WCR (i.e. mangroves, coral reefs, etc):
Brain and star corals dominate the coral caps of the Flower Garden Banks, with some coral colonies exceeding 6 meters in diameter. There are at least 21 species of coral, covering over 50% of the bottom to depths of 30 meters. Deepwater habitat of the Flower Garden Banks makes up over 98% of the area within the sanctuary boundaries. These deep habitats include algal-sponge communities, “honeycomb” reefs (highly eroded outcroppings), mud flats, mounds, mud volcanoes and brine seep systems. Assemblages in these deeper habitats include extensive coralline algae pavements and nodules, sea fans, sea whips and black corals, deep reef fish, batfish, sea robins, basket stars and feather stars.
Detail for each habitat/ecosystem the area it covers:
|Marine / coastal ecosystem categories
Detail for each habitat / ecosystem the area covers
|Size (estimate)||Description and comments|
|Coral reefs||ha||268||1.84% of the area within the sanctuary|
|Deep coral||ha||1237||8.51% of the area within the sanctuary|
|Other marine ecosystems
|Mesophotic coral communities||ha||5||Coral Community (i.e., non-reef-building): 0.03% of the area within the sanctuary|
|Algal nodules||ha||2827||19.45% of the area within the sanctuary|
|Coralline algal reef||ha||498||3.43% of the area within the sanctuary|
|Soft bottom community||ha||9695||66.69% of the area within the sanctuary|