Deepwater seapen communities

The habitat of the deep-sea (below 700m) sea pen Umbellula spp. is very different from sea pens found shallower waters, and should be regarded as a separate VME or at least a distinct sub-type. High densities of Umbellula encrinus are found in deep waters north of Iceland and in Norway, at depths below 800 m. This large sea pen can reach a height of more than two metres. There are often high densities of tube-building amphipods (Neohela) in areas with Umbellula. Off southern Iceland, sea pens of the genus Anthoptilum are also found in deep, albeit warmer waters.

Umbellula ecrinus is a large sea pen only found on soft sea bottoms in deep water. Image: MAREANO/IMRI.