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Projects

Assessing Multi-species Habitat Use and Connectivi...

We are evaluating how highly migratory and protected species, including cetaceans, fishes, pinnipeds, seabirds, and turtles, are using a network of state and federal marine protected areas (MPAs) in the ...

Causes and Consequences of Hypoxic Events in Low-i...

We are investigating the processes that lead to hypoxia in Southern California’s lagoons, and identifying its ecological impacts. These small estuaries, which have tidal inlets that can close to the ...

Determining Habitat Requirements and Connectivity ...

We are investigating habitat requirements and connectivity for key reef-associated fishes in the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary and surrounding areas. Marine protected areas (MPAs) are designated to conserve ...

Ecology, Integrity and Status of Caribbean Mesopho...

We investigated Puerto Rico’s mesophotic coral ecosystems to better understand them and their relationship to shallower reefs. They are off the southwestern coast at depths of 50–100 m (164–328 ft) ...

Effects of Hypoxia and Warming on Zooplankton in C...

Arcatia tonsa is the dominant copepod in Chesapeake Bay and a critical food source for many fisheries species and a link between primary producers (phytoplankton) and upper trophic levels. Size ...

Florida Regional Ecosystem Stressors Collaborative...

We are investigating the current and future impacts of five key stressors–ocean acidification, hypoxia, harmful algal blooms, warming, and eutrophication–on South Florida’s coastal ecosystems. Results will provide actionable information for ...

How Will Changing Temperature and Oxygen Condition...

We are supporting the application of coastal ocean models to determine the vulnerability of important species to changing temperature and oxygen in the California Current. This will enable coastal managers ...

Investigating Mesophotic Coral Reefs in Hawaii

We investigated Hawaii’s mesophotic coral ecosystems to better understand them and their relationship to shallower reefs. We found reefs off Maui’s southwestern coast at depths of 30–130 meters (98–426 ft) ...

Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems of American Samoa

We are investigating American Samoa’s mesophotic coral ecosystems (40–100 meters or ~130–330 feet deep) to better understand them and their relationship to shallower reefs. Nearly 80 percent of coral reef ...

News

Study Identifies Potential Foraging Areas Used by ...

Adult leatherback turtle. Credit: NOAA. Scientists have identified locations likely used by leatherback turtles for feeding during their migration between nesting beaches in the Caribbean and food-rich waters off New ...

Marine Benthic Algae of Puerto Rico Part II Publis...

Credit: Smithsonian Contributions to Botany, Number 117. Smithsonian Scholarly Press. Part II of the Marine Benthic Algal Flora of Puerto Rico has been published and is partly based on NCCOS-supported ...

Sea Sponges Reveal Larger Impact of Climate Change...

A researcher sampling a sclerosponge in St. Croix. Photo credit: Doug Kesling A newly published study used an unlikely source—sea sponges—to determine a more accurate baseline for pre-industrial global temperature ...

NCCOS-Supported Research Transitioning to Operatio...

Dungeness crab is Oregon’s most valuable single-species fishery. Photo Credit: Oregon Sea Grant. U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) has awarded Oregon State University with an ocean technology transition grant ...

Tracking Fish Movements to Understand Habitat Conn...

National marine sanctuaries protect America's most iconic natural and cultural marine resources. To assess the effectiveness of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS) at protecting habitat for key ...

San Diego Estuaries Research Symposium Highlights ...

On February 7, 2023, NCCOS-supported researchers under the Coastal Hypoxia Research Program presented their findings at the virtual San Diego Estuaries Research Symposium. The symposium was designed to bring together ...

New Short Film on Understanding Hypoxia: Dead Zone...

With funding from NCCOS, a short film, "Understanding Hypoxia: Dead Zones on the Pacific Coast", was produced by Oregon State Productions, a documentary film team at Oregon State University. The ...

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Data & Publications

A comprehensive investigation of mesophotic coral ecosystems in the Hawaiian Archipelago

Although the existence of coral-reef habitats at depths to 165 m in tropical regions has been known for decades, the richness, diversity, and ecological importance of mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs) has only recently become widely acknowledged. During an interdisciplinary effort ...

A new encrusting deep-water coral reef alga, Peyssonnelia incomposita (Peyssonneliaceae, Rhodophyta), from Puerto Rico, Caribbean Sea

A new Peyssonnelia species is described from deep-water habitats in Puerto Rico as well as the U.S. Virgin Islands. Peyssonnelia incomposita is distinctive when living due its background orange coloration with highly contrasting bright yellow highlights. Internally the thallus is ...

A new species of Atergopedia (Copepoda: Harpacticoida: Novocriniidae) from a Caribbean mesophotic reef

Coordinated research efforts in mesophotic coral reefs are only a decade old, but have already produced exciting findings in ecology, physiology, geomorphology, population genetics, biodiversity, and taxonomy. In this taxonomic contribution, we describe both sexes of a new copepod species ...

A new species of Longipedia Claus, 1863 (Copepoda: Harpacticoida: Longipediidae) from Caribbean mesophotic reefs with remarks on the phylogenetic affinities of Polyarthra

Mesophotic coral reefs are largely unexplored nearshore habitats. We present illustrations of both sexes of a new copepod species of the family Longipediidae Sars, 1903 collected via scuba-diving with tri-mix rebreathers from mesophotic coral reefs in Puerto Rico as an ...

Archeolourinia shermani, a new genus and species of Louriniidae (Copepoda: Harpacticoida) from a Caribbean mesophotic zone

Mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs) are found on the insular and continental slopes of Caribbean islands and comprise mainly scleractinian corals, sponges and macroalgae. These species provide habitat for a highly diverse and specialized crustacean fauna. A new genus and species ...

Azooxanthellate? Most Hawaiian black corals contain Symbiodinium

The ecological success of shallow-water reef-building corals (Hexacorallia: Scleractinia) is framed by their intimate endosymbiosis with photosynthetic dinoflagellates in the genus Symbiodinium (zooxanthellae). In contrast, the closely related black corals (Hexacorallia: Anthipatharia) are described as azooxanthellate (lacking Symbiodinium), a trait ...

Characterization of mesophotic coral/sponge ecosystem habitats in the region of the Tortugas Ecological Reserves from ROV Dives during 2013 and 2014 R/V Walton Smith cruises

This report resulted from our ROV surveys to characterize the mesophotic coral reef ecosystems at Pulley Ridge and Tortugas as part of a research grant funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research ...

Characterization of mesophotic coral/sponge habitats and fish assemblages in the regions of Pulley Ridge and Tortugas from ROV Dives during R/V Walton Smith Cruises of 2012 to 2015

This report summarizes the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) surveys during four cruises from 2012 to 2015 which characterizes the mesophotic coral reef ecosystems at Pulley Ridge and Tortugas. This research is part of a grant funded by the NOAA National ...

Characterization of the mesophotic benthic habitat and fish assemblages from ROV dives on Pulley Ridge and Tortugas during 2012 and 2013 R/V Walton Smith cruises

Two research cruises were conducted in 2012 and 2013 to the region of Pulley Ridge and Dry Tortugas to study and survey the mesophotic reef communities and fish populations. The University of Miami’s R/V Walton Smith Cruise No. WS1213 was ...

Characterization of the Mesophotic Benthic Habitat and Fish Assemblages from ROV Dives on Pulley Ridge and Tortugas during 2014 R/V Walton Smith Cruise

Three research cruises were conducted in 2012, 2013 and 2014 to the region of Pulley Ridge and Dry Tortugas to study and survey the mesophotic reef communities and fish populations. Pulley Ridge is the deepest known photosynthetic coral reef in ...

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