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Gulf of California 2015, Leg 3 – Biodiversity and Biooptics

This female brooding octopus (Japetella diaphana) was observed and collected during the 2012 expedition. This species is far more abundant in the Gulf of California than in the Monterey Canyon.

Gulf of California 2015, Leg 3 – Biodiversity and Biooptics

On this leg, researchers will study physiology and diversity of midwater animals in the Gulf of California’s central and southern basins. They are especially interested in gelatinous species which also have populations in Monterey Bay.

Many midwater species are found in both Monterey Bay and the Gulf of California, despite differences of up to 15° Celcius between the water masses. Additionally, the core of the oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) in the Gulf is five times larger than the OMZ in Monterey Bay.

The Biodiversity and Biooptics team on this leg are continuing to test their hypothesis that the unusual vertical distribution and migration patterns displayed by the gulf’s midwater fauna is driven chiefly by the characteristics of the OMZ. The research conducted will be based on dives performed by the ROV Doc Ricketts and supplemented by blue-water scuba diving and midwater trawling.

About Gulf of California 2015, Leg 3 – Biodiversity and Biooptics

On this leg, researchers will study physiology and diversity of midwater animals in the Gulf of California’s central and southern basins. They are especially interested in gelatinous species which also have populations in Monterey Bay.