Bio-regional-scale analysis of deep-sea coral assemblage composition using NOAA’s National Database of Deep-Sea Corals and Sponges

//Bio-regional-scale analysis of deep-sea coral assemblage composition using NOAA’s National Database of Deep-Sea Corals and Sponges
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OneNOAA Science Seminar Series Speaker: Robert McGuinn, NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science

Register at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6301573096732081924

Sponsors: This webinar is part of a NOAA Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program webinar series to highlight research, exploration, and management of deep-sea corals and sponges around the U.S.

Seminar POC: Heather.Coleman@noaa.gov (301-427-8650)

Abstract: The NOAA Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program has developed a comprehensive geo-database for deep-sea corals and sponges as a resource for both scientists and resource managers. The database currently integrates more than 250,000 deep-sea coral records and more than 70,000 deep-sea sponge records, most from U.S. waters. Records were compiled from museums, bycatch from fisheries and fisheries surveys, scientific literature, and in situ observations collected by NOAA and other research institutions. The schema accommodates both linear (trawls, transects) and point (samples, observations) data types, along with images and associated information related to biology, environment, provenance and accuracy. Currently, the region with the most records is the U.S. Pacific Coast (60%), while the U.S. East Coast and Caribbean has the least amount of records (2.4%). The database structure can accommodate information on abundance, density, and associated habitat characteristics. The database content and taxonomy are based on international standards (Darwin Core, World Register of Marine Species). We provide an example data analysis exploring differences in coral assemblages by marine ecoregion and depth zone within two data-rich focal regions (the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico). Basic statistical summaries of the community structure, composition, and biodiversity are provided. The relevance of these findings to conservation and management of these habitats are discussed. This project demonstrates how a comprehensive National Database can be used to gain new insights into deep sea community composition and biodiversity

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(Robert McGuinn, NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science)