Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Benthic Ecology and Biology

Pattern and Dynamics of Benthic Soft Sediment Faunal Communities

The objectives of this project are to determine the patterns of abundance of marine megafaunal populations on the continental shelf and slope to 1000 m depth in Monterey Bay, and measure changes in abundance and over time. Video transects recorded using the MBARI ROV Ventana are used to collect video records of benthic transects at depths of 200, 400, 600, 800, and 1000 m depth on "Smooth Ridge" in Monterey Bay starting in the early 1990's. Each transect is roughly 2 km in length. The ROV collects video of the bottom from each transect an average of 1 time per year. Paired lasers are used as a visual scale to determine the width of the video transect. All identifiable animals are recorded along each transect, from which measures of species' densities are calculated for each transect. Together, these data will provide a measure of the interannual variation in community structure in the region.  
  James P. Barry (Principal Investigator), Linda Kuhnz, Patrick Whaling

Click on the links below to view images of typical 
megafaunal animals found at each depth.

All pictures copyright MBARI  2003-2004
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Last updated: Nov. 17, 2011