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News

NOAA Awards $2.4 Million for Mesophotic Coral Ecos...

NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, in cooperation with the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and the Office of Exploration and Research, awarded $599,673 of an anticipated four-year, $2.4 ...
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Student-developed Sensor Used to Measure Impacts o...

NCCOS-supported scientists are using a new technology developed by undergraduate students at the University of California, San Diego to measure the impacts of low oxygen (hypoxia) on oysters living in ...
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Giant Barrel Sponges at Dry Tortugas and Pulley Ri...

NOAA-sponsored scientists studying the potential connectivity of the giant barrel sponges of Pulley Ridge to other reefs in the Gulf of Mexico and Florida Reef tract found that of the ...
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How do Light-dependent Mesophotic Corals Survive a...

The ability of deep, light dependent mesophotic corals to grow in low-light conditions is a poorly understood realm of biology. Research, sponsored in part by NCCOS, found that the ability ...
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First Book on Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems Publishe...

Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems is the primary source for a basic understanding of mesophotic coral ecosystems. Credit Springer The first book on Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems has been published by Springer. NCCOS ...
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Expedition Begins to Investigate Coral Ecosystem C...

Mesophotic coral ecosystem at Geyer Bank (~105 feet deep) in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico. Credit: Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS) and University of North Carolina at Wilmington, ...
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NPR Highlights New Hypoxia and Pacific Northwest D...

On October 28, 2018, the National Public Radio (NPR) Weekend Edition program featured a new NCCOS project that is tracking the extent and effect of hypoxia (low oxygen) on commercial ...
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NCCOS Announces Two Mesophotic Coral Ecosystem Fun...

The NCCOS Competitive Research Program is pleased to announce two Fiscal Year 2019 Federal Funding Opportunities (FFOs) related to mesophotic coral ecosystems in American Samoa and the Hawaiian Archipelago. The deadline ...
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Coral Surveys Inform Expansion of Pulley Ridge Hab...

UPDATE: October 16, 2020 NOAA Fisheries announced the final rule implementing Amendment 9 to the Fishery Management Plan for Coral and Coral Reef Resources in Gulf of Mexico U.S. waters, ...
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Assessment of Florida's Mesophotic Coral Reefs Pub...

A multi-institutional team of scientists funded by NCCOS has published an assessment of the mesophotic coral reefs (75–270 feet deep) located roughly 150 miles off of Florida’s southwest coast. The ...
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Data & Publications

Encounter with mesoscale eddies enhances survival to settlement in larval coral reef fishes

Oceanographic features, such as eddies and fronts, enhance and concentrate productivity, generating high-quality patches that dispersive marine larvae may encounter in the plankton. Although broad-scale movement of larvae associated with these features can be captured in biophysical models, direct evidence ...
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Evaluating confidence in the impact of regulatory nutrient reduction on Chesapeake Bay water quality

Excess nutrients derived from anthropogenic activity have resulted in the degradation of coastal water quality and an increase in low-oxygen and hypoxic events worldwide. In an effort to curb these impacts and restore water quality in the Chesapeake Bay, a ...
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Fish assemblages associated with red grouper pits at Pulley Ridge, a mesophotic reef in the Gulf of Mexico

Red grouper (Epinephelus morio) modify their habitat by excavating sediment to expose rocky pits, providing structurally complex habitat for many fish species. Surveys conducted with remotely operated vehicles from 2012 through 2015 were used to characterize fish assemblages associated with ...
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Fishes associated with mesophotic coral ecosystems in La Parguera, Puerto Rico

Fishes associated with mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs) of the La Parguera shelf-edge were surveyed between 2007 and 2011 using mixed-gas rebreather diving. Fishes were identified and counted within belt transects and roving surveys at 30, 40, 50, 60 and 70 ...
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Fitness consequences of habitat variability, trophic position, and energy allocation across the depth distribution of a coral-reef fish

Environmental clines such as latitude and depth that limit species’ distributions may be associated with gradients in habitat suitability that can affect the fitness of an organism. With the global loss of shallow-water photosynthetic coral reefs, mesophotic coral ecosystems (~30–150 ...
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Fluorescent proteins in dominant mesophotic reef-building corals

Reef-building corals inhabiting the mesophotic zone (30-150 m) not only survive but thrive in light-limiting environments. Similar to shallow corals, mesophotic corals also exhibit coral fluorescence. Because fluorescent proteins (FPs) absorb high-energy light and emit lower-energy light, FPs could play ...
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Fungi associated with mesophotic macroalgae from the 'Au'au Channel, west Maui are differentiated by host and overlap terrestrial communities

Mesophotic coral ecosystems are an almost entirely unexplored and undocumented environment that likely contains vast reservoirs of undescribed biodiversity. Twenty-four macroalgae samples, representing four genera, were collected from a Hawaiian mesophotic reef at water depths between 65 and 86 m ...
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Generalist dinoflagellate endosymbionts and host genotype diversity detected from mesophotic (67-100 m depths) coral Leptoseris

Mesophotic corals (light-dependent corals in the deepest half of the photic zone at depths of 30 - 150 m) provide a unique opportunity to study the limits of the interactions between corals and endosymbiotic dinoflagellates in the genus Symbiodinium. We ...
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Genetic and biophysical modelling evidence of generational connectivity in the intensively exploited, Western North Atlantic red grouper (Epinephelus morio)

Understanding the connectivity of reef organisms is important to assist in the conservation of biological diversity and to facilitate sustainable fisheries in these ecosystems. Common methods to assess reef connectivity include both population genetics and biophysical modelling. Individually, these techniques ...
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Genetic connectivity dynamics of the giant barrel sponge, Xestospongia muta, across the Florida reef tract and Gulf of Mexico

Resolving the genetic connectivity of coral reef taxa is necessary to understand the community dynamics of these increasingly threatened ecosystems. Herein, we assess the fine scale genetic connectivity of six populations of the Atlantic giant barrel sponge, Xestospongia muta (Schmidt, ...
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