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Mesophotic Habitats Are a Refuge for Large, Overfished Species in Southwest Puerto Rico

NCCOS-supported research found that commercially important fish, such as snappers and groupers, off southwest Puerto Rico are more abundant at mesophotic depths (60–80 meters) than shallow depths (30 meters or less). The study, published in the journal Coral Reefs, suggests that mesophotic coral ecosystems serve as a refuge for heavily exploited, shallow-water reef species and […]

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Pulley Ridge Corals Show Potential Signs of Recovery After 10-Year Decline

An NCCOS-funded study has produced a detailed characterization of the deep (60–80 meters), mesophotic reefs and fish populations of Pulley Ridge, located off the southwest coast of Florida. While the study shows a decade-long decrease in coral cover at Pulley Ridge, when compared with data collected by the U.S. Geological Survey in 2003, the findings […]

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Coral Reef Resilience and Research Consistency Addressed at Recent Workshop

NCCOS scientists shared knowledge gained from coral reef research and conservation efforts in the U.S. Virgin Islands with researchers at a workshop in Hawaii with the aim of improving the quality and consistency of coral reef research worldwide. The workshop’s goals included bringing together reef researchers and managers who are facing new challenges due to […]

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Innovative Management Approach Guides Marine Spatial Planning

NCCOS has developed an innovative decision support process, the Biogeographic Assessment Framework (BAF), for comprehensive and efficient management of coastal and marine environments around the world.  Two decades of close collaborations with scientists and marine resource managers have resulted in a tool that integrates multiple types of information, such as resource use and ecosystem characterization […]

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‘Coral Ecosystem Connectivity 2014′ Expedition Discovers New Coral Area in Gulf of Mexico

NOAA-sponsored scientists discovered a new coral area off the southwest coast of Florida near Pulley Ridge. The area is extensive and has the densest cover of plate corals (Agaricia spp.) known in the Gulf of Mexico. This is the most coral seen in the Pulley Ridge area since 2009. Scientists made the discovery in August […]

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NCCOS, Partners Explore Deep Ocean in Proposed Expansion Areas of West Coast Marine Sanctuaries

NCCOS scientists and their partners recently explored deep-water reaches in the proposed expansion areas of the Cordell Bank and the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuaries to establish a baseline understanding of new habitats and species that may soon come under sanctuary jurisdiction. Using a video camera on a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), the […]

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Atlantic Ocean Temperature Rise Could Favor Range Expansion of Invasive Lionfish and Native Species

Warming ocean temperatures could favor the expansion of the invasive Indo-Pacific Lionfish and native tropical species distributions within the Atlantic according to a recent study conducted by researchers from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, National Marine Fisheries Service, and the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. The study was conducted from 2006–2010 in temperate rocky […]

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Puerto Rico Coral Reef Surveys Support Conservation Efforts

Puerto Rico’s coral reefs play an important cultural and commercial role in the island’s economy, but are under constant pressure from man-made and natural stressors. In response, NCCOS researchers recently began collecting data on Puerto Rico’s reefs that can help local, natural resource managers address coral reef management concerns. Last month, NCCOS scientists, in conjunction […]

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