| 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 - :17812 | National Ocean Service (NOS)
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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
  • Published Date:
    2016
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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
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  • Description:
    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 under an award NA11NOS4780045 to the University of Miami (Project Title: “Connectivity of the Pulley Ridge - South Florida Coral Reef Ecosystem”). The ROV cruise data were collected, analyzed, and written by the following: CIOERT at HBOI/Florida Atlantic University- John Reed (Principal Investigator), Stephanie Farrington (research assistant), Dennis Hanisak (Lead and Project Manager); and National Marine Fisheries Service/Southeast Fisheries Science Center (NMFS/SEFSC)- Andy David, Stacey Harter. The University of Miami ship R/V Walton Smith was used along with the UNCW Super Phantom ROV and FGNMS Mohawk ROV The cruises were in collaboration with the University of Miami, HBOI-CIOERT, NOAA Fisheries, and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNCW), Undersea Vehicles Program. This report summarizes only the data that were collected within 24 1-km2 random Blocks in the region of the Tortugas Ecological Reserves (TERs) during our cruises in 2013 and 2014. A total of 12 Blocks contained hard-bottom, mesophotic coral/sponge ecosystem habitat; 12 Blocks were entirely soft-bottom sediment. This Cruise Report provides detailed SEADESC (Southeastern United States Deep-Sea Corals) characterization of the benthic habitat and benthic macrobiota for each dive site.

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