Mesophotic Corals

Essays

Below you will find a collection of content essays about mesophotic corals written by explorers participating in expeditions featured on the OceanExplorer.NOAA.gov website.

Connecting the Dots: Understanding Coral Reef Connectivity

Connecting the Dots: Understanding Coral Reef Connectivity

From the Coral Ecosystem Connectivity 2014: From Pulley Ridge to the Florida Keys expedition. This essay discusses how coral reefs may be connected to one another. Does coral larvae stay close to home, move to a nearby neighborhood, or perhaps even travel hundreds of miles before settling in a new reef location?

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Understanding the Physical Connectivity of Reef Systems

Understanding the Physical Connectivity of Reef Systems

From the Coral Ecosystem Connectivity 2014: From Pulley Ridge to the Florida Keys expedition. This essay discusses how ocean currents around South Florida drive important physical connectivity between the coral reefs of Pulley Ridge, the Dry Tortugas, and the Florida Keys.

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Pulley Ridge: Looking Upstream to Protect Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

Pulley Ridge: Looking Upstream to Protect Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

From the Coral Ecosystem Connectivity 2013: From Pulley Ridge to the Florida Keys expedition. This essay introduces reasons why the proximity of Pulley Ridge to the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, combined with the influence of the Loop Current, has led scientists to question whether Pulley Ridge could serve as an upstream source of invertebrate and fish larvae for the sanctuary.

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Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems

Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems

From the Coral Ecosystem Connectivity 2013: From Pulley Ridge to the Florida Keys expedition. The term "coral" conjures up visions of warm, tropical waters, or, as of late, the cold dark depths of the ocean where not a ray of sunlight penetrates. Found between these two visions is a relatively unknown and poorly understood depth realm referred to as the mesophotic zone — "meso" for middle and "photic" for light.

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About Pulley Ridge

About Pulley Ridge

From the Coral Ecosystem Connectivity 2013: From Pulley Ridge to the Florida Keys expedition. This essay discusses the Pulley Ridge ecosystem, which is the deepest known photosynthetic coral reef off the continental United States. It also describes the benthic and fish communities of this special region.

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Pacific Deep Reefs 2011 — Mission Summary

Mission Summary

From the Pacific Deep Reefs 2011 expedition. This mission summary of an expedition to the deep reefs of the Pacific discusses how these communities are less impacted by stressors than their shallow-water counterparts and may represent important “seed-banks” for potential reef recovery.

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The above items are only a selection of the educational materials highlighting mesophotic coral ecosystems on our website.

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