Faunal patterns


Smooth Ridge soft sediment video transects

The objectives of this project are to determine the patterns of abundance of marine megafaunal populations on the continental shelf and slope to 1500 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, 1000, and 1500 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.

Smooth Ridge

Megafauna images

200 m       400 m       600 m       800 m       1,000 m       1,500 m


Small organisms (macrofauna) are collected in sediment core samples taken between 20 to 3,600 meters near Monterey Bay, California. Most can only be seen under a microscope. Click on a link to see pictures of the various animals.


James Barry

James Barry

Senior Scientist & Benthic Ecologist


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