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Station M Instrument Servicing Expedition 2018 – Log 3

Larval traps and settlement frames sit on the seabed at 4,000 meters depth after six days of deployment. We could see squat lobsters crawling around and amphipods swimming on top of the substrates.

Station M Instrument Servicing Expedition 2018 – Log 3

Contributor: University of Aveiro (Portugal) Postdoctoral Researcher Luciana Genio

Knowing where and for how long the pelagic larvae of deep-sea benthic animals live in the water column is extremely important to understand how populations respond to natural (e.g., climate and food supply) and human (e.g., pollution, overfishing, mining) disturbances. On this cruise, we deployed a series of larval traps and settlement frames on the seafloor and at one and 50 meters above the bottom. These traps collect passively drifting larvae and study the colonization of different biogenic substrates (wood, carbonates, and bones) typically found on the seafloor.

The diverse suite of instrumentation and one of the longest abyssal time-series studies make Station M an exceptional site to test new sampling methods, which may be developed around the world, to give us a global view of ocean’s health over space and time.