Amanda Kahn and Charlie Boch
What new questions came from this expedition?
There is still so much that we don’t know about what the corals and sponges need to thrive at Sur Ridge. We observed some reproductive corals (they had eggs within their tissues) and would like to know the cues that trigger corals to release gametes into the water. We would also like to know why some regions have more sponges while others have more corals. Maybe it is due to the surface they are growing on or water flow conditions- we do not know.
What’s next? How are you processing data?
Some experiments, like the coral transplants and our observations of ecological interactions, will require repeat visits to Sur Ridge on later cruises. We will also carefully analyze photos we took of the corals this time to understand how many polyps there were, whether they were reproductive, and to take various measurements of their dimensions. Several sponges we collected during the cruise need to be identified to species, which will involve work under the microscope. There is also plenty of data from the instruments we used (Benthic Respirometer System, DeepPIV, oxygen sensor, acoustic doppler current profilers , and a conductivity, temperature and depth sensor) to keep us busy.