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of Marine Life, Census of Coral Reefs Expedition to
French Frigate Shoals (October 2006)
expedition proposes to study the "underrepresented" organisms
of French Frigate Shoals and surrounding
areas. These organisms are species that do not live
among the better studied coral reefs, but live in sand
flats, or in fields of coral rubble, or deep slopes.
In shallow waters the casual observer will swim over
these habitats and see little except undistingiushable
bottom with an occasional fish here and there. A more
careful observer may see something dart
into a hole, or disguise iteself so completely against
the bottom that its location is lost. But to the
taxonomists and other scientists aboard this expedition
these environments are absolutely bursting with life.
There are worms, and tiny crustaceans, micro algae, micromollusls,
corraline algae, and microbes; literally
metropolis of critters in a handful
of sand or rubble. If that is not fascinating enough,
what makes this expedition even more unique is that these
habitats have barely been studied in the Northwestern
Islands (NWHI), and many new species to science, and
certainly new records of organisms from this area are
order to collect and study these tiny organisms, a dazzling
array of collection methods will
be used. Each technique has been qualified by the habitat(s)
it targets and the organism types that will likely be collected.
In order to reduce impacts in the fully protected NWHI,
collection methods have been evaluated against their potential
impacts and the sceintists on this cruise have labored
to modify their collection techniques, or elliminate techniques,
to have the minimum impact. The samples collected are
a public trust and will not be used for bio-prospecting,
sale, bioassay, patent, obtaining patents or intellectual
proposed collection methods are listed below and link
to detailed descriptions with the habtats and organisms
Matrix Structures (ARMS)
Baited Epifauna Traps
Ekman/Van Veen Grab
Collections for Cryptofauna
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vessel crew, educators, etc.
Highlights or special information such as interesting
discoveries, articles or related research.