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Past projects




Midwater research

Deep-water salps in Monterey Bay
Project Manager/Lead Scientist: Larry Madin 

Several specimens of a salp that appeared to be limited to midwater depths were collected during ROV Ventana dives in 2001 and 2002. These salps are an undescribed species. They  are exceptionally delicate and transparent and have morphological characteristics that distinguish them from any described genus. 

The collected specimens have been used to examine and describe the morphology, biometrics, gut contents and behavior. The current project will concentrate on measurements of respiration, excretion, feeding rate, swimming speed and temperature tolerance in order to gain a full picture of the adaptation and ecology of this species. Depending on success in keeping these salps alive, it may also be possible to measure growth and reproductive rates. The discovery and characterization of the first mesopelagic salp expands  knowledge of the ecology and evolution of pelagic tunicates and their adaptation to varied niches in the water column.