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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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Light Shed on Hawaiian Reef Fish Food Sources and ...

NOAA-funded scientists studying the diets of 22 species of Hawaiian coral reef fish living at both shallow (0-30 meters) and mesophotic (30-150 meters) depths found that the food source differed ...
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Mesophotic Reefs in Southwest Puerto Rico Shaped b...

Sediment exerts a basic control on the character and distribution of both shallow and mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs). In a rare study focused on sediment dynamics of MCEs, NCCOS-supported scientists ...
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Depth Affects Algal Symbiont Composition in Caribb...

NCCOS-funded researchers investigating the diversity of symbiotic algae (Symbiodinium spp.) associated with the coral Agaricia lamarcki in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands found the coral's algal associations change ...
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First Compendium on Deep-water Algae of Puerto Ric...

A new taxonomic publication describes the relatively unknown algal flora of mesophotic coral ecosystems in Puerto Rico. Theseecosystems are characterized by the presence of light-dependent corals and associated communities found ...
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Mesophotic Bicolor Damselfish Help Keep Shallower ...

NOAA-supported researchers studying the potential coral ecosystem connectivity of the deep (192–256 ft/60–80 m), mesophotic reefs of Pulley Ridge and the shallower reefs downstream in the Florida Keys found that ...
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Extensive Hawaiian Reefs in Oceanic 'Twilight Zone...

Mesophotic coral ecosystems are populated with many of the same fish species found on shallow reefs. 'Au'au Channel, off the southwest coast of Maui, at a depth of 230 feet ...
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NCCOS Leads Key Topics at International Coral Reef...

This week, staff from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) led special sessions and gave individual presentations at the 13th International Coral Reef Symposium in Honolulu, Hawaii. The ...
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Can Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems Serve as Lifeboats...

On May 24, 2016, the United Nations Environment Programme released a new report on mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs) during a coral reef media roundtable at the second session of the ...
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Retired NCCOS Employee Honored with New Species Na...

On February 18, 2016 at the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force's 35th meeting, the Caribbean Coral Reef Institute at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez recognized Dr. Michael Dowgiallo, ...
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Data & Publications

Genetic homogeneity of the invasive lionfish across the Northwestern Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico based on Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms

Despite the devastating impact of the lionfish (Pterois volitans) invasion on NW Atlantic ecosystems, little genetic information about the invasion process is available. We applied Genotyping by Sequencing techniques to identify 1,220 single nucleotide polymorphic sites (SNPs) from 162 lionfish ...
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Geographic differences in vertical connectivity in the Caribbean coral Montastraea cavernosa despite high levels of horizontal connectivity at shallow depths

The deep reef refugia hypothesis proposes that deep reefs can act as local recruitment sources for shallow reefs following disturbance. To test this hypothesis, nine polymorphic DNA microsatellite loci were developed and used to assess vertical connectivity in 583 coral ...
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Geomorphology and benthic cover of mesophotic coral ecosystems of the upper insular slope of southwest Puerto Rico

The upper insular slope of southwest Puerto Rico is defined as extending from the shelf break at ~20 m water depth down to a depth of ~160 m where there is a pronounced change in geomorphic character and the basal ...
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Habitat availability and depth-driven population demographics regulate reproductive output of a coral reef fish

Global habitat decline may displace organisms from optimal environments, increasing reliance on ecosystems with lower habitat suitability and availability. For coral reef fishes, potentially marginal mesophotic coral ecosystems (~30–150 m) may be buffered from anthropogenic stressors; however, variation in habitat ...
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How much do marine connectivity fluctuations matter?

There is growing awareness that fluctuations in larval flux (connectivity) depress the long-run growth of marine metapopulations, but by how much is unclear. Here, we explore how reproductive schedule and larval behavior affect how much connectivity fluctuations depress growth. We ...
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Identifying Suitable Locations for Mesophotic Hard Corals Offshore of Maui, Hawai’i

Mesophotic hard corals (MHC) are increasingly threatened by a growing number of anthropogenic stressors, including impacts from fishing, land-based sources of pollution, and ocean acidification. However, little is known about their geographic distributions (particularly around the Pacific islands) because it ...
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Long-distance dispersal and vertical gene flow in the Caribbean brooding coral Porites astreoides

To date, most assessments of coral connectivity have emphasized long-distance horizontal dispersal of propagules from one shallow reef to another. The extent of vertical connectivity, however, remains largely understudied. Here, we used newly-developed and existing DNA microsatellite loci for the ...
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Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems

This book summarizes what is known about mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs) geographically and by major taxa. MCEs are characterized by light-dependent corals and associated communities typically found at depths ranging from 30-40 m and extending to over 150 m in ...
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Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems - A Lifeboat for Coral Reefs?

This report is based on one of the recommendations from the 2014 United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) "Scientific Workshop on Coral Reef Resilience in Planning and Decision-support Frameworks" to address the question can intermediate depth reefs serve as "lifeboats" for ...
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Mesophotic coral ecosystems examined: La Parguera, Puerto Rico, USA

MCEs are found worldwide in tropical and subtropical waters. The existence of corals at mesophotic depths has been known since at least 1889, when Darwin reported the discovery of corals at depths of 128 m (Darwin 1889). However, it was not ...
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