Canyons microbiology studies

OCS Study BOEM 2017-060-12
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Off the eastern coast of the United States, several deep canyons cut through the continental shelf, acting like funnels to move sediment from the shelf out to the deep seafloor. Exposed rock outcrops and ledges along the walls of these canyons provide important habitat for deepsea corals and sponges. Although a few scientific expeditions have visited these canyons in the 1970s (Hecker and Blechschmidt 1979, Hecker et al. 1980), their purpose was mainly to map the contours and capture photographs of the bottom using manned submersibles and towed cameras. Our knowledge of the biodiversity in these complex ecosystems is limited; we know little about the macrofauna (e.g., fishes, crabs, sponges, and deepsea corals) and even less about the microbiota.

The research described in this report was conducted from 2011 to 2015 as part of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) study, entitled “Atlantic Deepwater Canyons” study. This work used molecular and microbiological techniques to examine the microbial ecology and diversity associated with Baltimore and Norfolk canyons. Specifically, this work focused on the microbial ecology of four species of octocorals (Acanthogorgia aspera, Anthothela grandiflora, Paramuricea placomus, and Primnoa resedaeformis), the microbial diversity in sediments within and outside the canyons, and a settling plate experiment designed to characterize microbial biofilm formation on a variety of hard substrates.

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype Federal Government Series
Title Canyons microbiology studies
Series title OCS Study
Series number BOEM 2017-060
Chapter 12
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
Contributing office(s) St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description 31 p.
Larger Work Type Report
Larger Work Subtype Federal Government Series
Larger Work Title Exploration and research of Mid-Atlantic deepwater hard bottom habitats and shipwrecks with emphasis on canyons and coral communities: Atlantic Deepwater Canyons Study Vol. I
First page 579
Last page 609
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