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Midwater Ecology Expedition Spring 2019

Midwater Ecology Expedition Spring 2019

This jelly, Solmissus sp., is one of the species the Midwater Ecology group uses to study oxygen consumption in the Midwater Respirometry System (MRS).

MBARI Expedition #458

Expedition goal: The main goal of this expedition is to expand ongoing research into the respiration rates (oxygen consumption) of deep-sea animals using the Midwater Respirometry System (MRS). The MRS will be deployed at a “shallow” (approximately 1,500 meters depth) and a “deep” (approximately 3,000 meters depth) mooring during the duration of the eight-day cruise. The group is also accompanied by MBARI partners from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, who are interested in observing and collecting select deep-sea organisms.

Expedition dates: March 8- 14, 2019

Ship: R/V Western Flyer

Research technology:  ROV Doc Ricketts, Midwater Respirometer System

Expedition chief scientist: Bruce Robison

The Midwater Ecology Group is heading out to continue studying the midwater respiration rates of deep-sea animals. This long-term project aims to investigate deep-sea animals response to changes in the environment (i.e., oxygen or temperature). To date, the Midwater Ecology Group has successfully documented the vertical expansion of the oxygen-minimum zone by 60-to 80-meters in relation to ocean warming. This expansion has fragmented the midwater community by shifting the distributions of many midwater animals. Long-term studies like this are necessary for first detecting shifts in communities and then predicting how communities will respond in the future to further changes in the environment.

About Midwater Ecology Expedition Spring 2019

March 8-14, 2019 – The Midwater Ecology Group is measuring oxygen consumption rates of select deep-sea animals using a custom-designed tool, the Midwater Respirometry System (MRS).