What has the greatest pull – smooth surfaces or furrows?

During this autumn and winter, textured panels have been retrieved from two locations in the Koster-Väderöfjord. We placed them on the seafloor in the spring of 2021, hoping that larvae of Lophelia pertusa would want to settle on them. The panels, 7×7 cm in size, have different surface texture made with the help of a 3D printer. Do the larvae prefer narrow furrows to crawl into, or bigger surfaces to have sufficient space to grow onto? The panels are now being scrutinized, in the search for small corals and other reef associated animals. So far, no Lophelia larvae has been found, but there is plenty of other exciting organisms, like the small octocoral Alcyonium sp.

Collage av många små undervattensbilder av olika havslevande  organismer i olika färger.
Different organisms settled on the textured panels. Photo: Jules Vachaud, master student in biology