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Deep Coral and Associated Species Taxonomy and Ecology (DeepCAST) II Expedition Report

Author(s): Etnoyer, P.J.; T.C. Shirley; K.A. Lavelle


Publication Type: NOAA Technical Memoranda

Journal Title: NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS 137

Date of Publication: 2011

Reference Information: 42 pages

Keywords: deep-sea coral; octocoral; Lophelia pertusa; slit shell; Roatan; Honduras; Caribbean; Meso-American Reef

Abstract: The Deep Coral & Associated Species Taxonomy & Ecology (DeepCAST) II Expedition explored depths below the Meso-American Reef in Roatán, Honduras from 21- 28 May 2011. The team made six submersible dives between 1200 and 2200 feet deep (365 and 670 meters), conducting photo and video transects to estimate coral and sponge diversity and abundance, characterizing water chemistry, and collecting corals and mollusks to discern the relationships between corals and their epifauna. Among the highlights of the trip were the first confirmed documentation of live Lophelia pertusa along the Meso-American Reef and comprehensive sampling of slit shell diversity for genetic and biogeographic studies.


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