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of Marine Life, Census of Coral Reefs Expedition to
French Frigate Shoals (October 2006)
Scientist: Rebecca Most, Peter Vroom
Target Habitats: Fore Reef, Back Reef,
Reef Crest, Lagoon Patch Reef, La Perouse, Arc shell reefs,
Acropora areas, Halimeda Fields
Target Organisms: macro, turf, coralline;
macrofauna and mesofauna
A significant goal of algal surveys is to qualitatively describe
the algal community and prepare a comprehensive species list
for each site, specifically targeting lesser known species.
Numerous species of algae unknown to science are frequently
being described from Pacific Islands. Few algal experts have
visited islands within the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands,
and the possibility of describing new species (thus increasing
is great. Working
at depths of 0 to 30 m at the target habitats, a gallon-sized
bag of algal samples (including red, brown, and green macro-
and turf algae, and crustose coralline red algae) will be
collected at each site and brought back to the ship
for identification and analysis. Along with the hand collection
of both macro and turf algae, crustose coralline algae will
be collected using a small chisel to remove pieces of algae.
No pieces of crustose coralline algae larger than 1" x
1" will be collected. Samples will initially be processed
by Dr. Alison Sherwood's lab at the University of Hawaii,
for molecular barcoding analysis to determine genetic diversity
of the Hawaiian algal flora. Once processed, these samples
will be placed in Bishop Museum. Detailed microscopic analysis
and the placement of holotype specimens in internationally
accepted herbaria are a necessary part of this process. An
understanding of algal species ranges and genetic similarity
across Pacific Islands will enable biogeographic hypotheses
to be formulated and provide information for marine dispersal
mechanism useful to biologists in many different disciplines.
major component of reef fauna lives on the surfaces and
in the interstices of marine algae. Algae serve as
nursery habitats for the juveniles of some macrofauna,
exclusively on plants. Although algal associates can dramatically
affect the ecology of their host plants and are an important
link in the reef food chain, their diversity is poorly
documented. The associates comprise complex communities,
and constituent species may occur solely on particular
groups of algae or on single host species.
Back to collection methods
activities of the expedition.
or semi-daily personal journal entries by
in the expedition. These journals do not necessarily reflect
the positions of any of the agencies connected with this
Interviews with expedition participants, scientists,
vessel crew, educators, etc.
Highlights or special information such as interesting
discoveries, articles or related research.