Navigation Links
New deep-sea coral discovered on NOAA-supported mission
Date:3/5/2009

Scientists identified seven new species of bamboo coral discovered on a NOAA-funded mission in the deep waters of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Six of these species may represent entirely new genera, a remarkable feat given the broad classification a genus represents. A genus is a major category in the classification of organisms, ranking above a species and below a family. Scientists expect to identify more new species as analysis of samples continues.

"These discoveries are important, because deep-sea corals support diverse seafloor ecosystems and also because these corals may be among the first marine organisms to be affected by ocean acidification," said Richard Spinrad, Ph.D., NOAA's assistant administrator for Oceanic and Atmospheric Research. Ocean acidification is a change in ocean chemistry due to excess carbon dioxide. Researchers have seen adverse changes in marine life with calcium-carbonate shells, such as corals, because of acidified ocean water.

"Deep-sea bamboo corals also produce growth rings much as trees do, and can provide a much-needed view of how deep ocean conditions change through time," said Spinrad.

Rob Dunbar, a Stanford University scientist, was studying long-term climate data by examining long-lived corals. "We found live, 4,000-year-old corals in the Monument meaning 4,000 years worth of information about what has been going on in the deep ocean interior."

"Studying these corals can help us understand how they survive for such long periods of time as well as how they may respond to climate change in the future," said Dunbar.

Among the other findings were a five-foot tall yellow bamboo coral tree that had never been described before, new beds of living deepwater coral and sponges, and a giant sponge scientists dubbed the "cauldron sponge," approximately three feet tall and three feet across. Scientists collected two other sponges which have not yet been analyzed but may represent new species or genera as well.

The mission also discovered a "coral graveyard" covering about 10,000 square feet on a seamount's summit, more than 2,000 feet deep. Scientists estimated the death of the community occurred several thousand to potentially more than a million years ago, but did not know why the community died. The species of coral had never been recorded in Hawaii before, according a Smithsonian Institution coral expert they consulted.

Finding new species was not an express purpose of the research mission, but Dunbar and Christopher Kelley, a scientist with the University of Hawaii, both collected specimens that looked unusual. Kelley's objective was to locate and predict locations of high density deep-sea coral beds in the Monument. NOAA scientist Frank Parrish also led a portion of the mission, focusing on growth rates of deep-sea corals.

The three-week research mission ended in November 2007, but analysis of specimens is ongoing. "The potential for more discoveries is high, but these deep-sea corals are not protected everywhere as they are here, and can easily be destroyed," said Kelley.

The Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument has more deep water than any other U.S. protected area, with more than 98 percent below SCUBA-diving depths and only accessible to submersibles. The Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory, sponsored by NOAA and the University of Hawaii, piloted the Pisces V submersible from a research vessel to the discovery sites, between 3300 and 4200 feet deep.


'/>"/>

Contact: Christine Patrick
Christine.Patrick@noaa.gov
301-734-1030
NOAA Headquarters
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Scientists launch deep-sea scientific drilling program to study volatile earthquake zone
2. Deep-sea species loss could lead to oceans collapse, study suggests
3. Deep-sea sharks wired for sound
4. Persistent man-made chemical pollutants found in deep-sea octopods and squids
5. Women in Science fellowship to fund postdocs study of deep-sea methane
6. Researchers study acoustic communication in deep-sea fish
7. New deep-sea observatory goes live
8. Coral reef fish harbor an unexpectedly high biodiversity of parasites
9. Why do so many species live in tropical forests and coral reefs?
10. Coral reefs will be permanently damaged without urgent action
11. TAU professor finds global warming is melting soft coral
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/8/2016)... PRAGUE, Czech Republic , February 8, 2016 ... first EU-regulated global payment platform which presents innovation ... Voice Biometrics Authentication feature called VoiceKey. --> ... payment platform which presents innovation for clients, comfort ... feature called VoiceKey. --> Worldcore ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... LONDON , Feb. 4, 2016 ... is apparently one of the most popular hubs ... Project, MetaHIT and other huge studies of human ... that past few years, the microbiome space has ... applied biomedical research. This report focuses on ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... -- --> --> ... Identification System Market by Component (Hardware and Software), Search ... Government, Healthcare, and Transportation) and Geography - Global Forecast ... to be worth USD 8.49 Billion by 2020 at ... The transformation and technology evolution from the manual process ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/9/2016)... and LONDON , February 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... tech replace paper and protect IP   ... laboratory notebook (ELN) will be rolled out in ... and development (R&D) and protect valuable IP. Users will be ... a specific researcher or experiment as part of the application, ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... 9, 2016 DelveInsight,s, ... report provides in depth insights on the ... the Protein-Tyrosine Phosphatase 1B (PTP1B) Inhibitors. The ... various stages of development including Discovery, Pre-clinical, ... and Preregistration. Report covers the product clinical ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... 2016  CytRx Corporation (NASDAQ: CYTR ), ... oncology, today announced that it has entered into ... Technology Growth Capital, Inc. and Hercules Technology III, ... --> --> ... financing under the loan and security agreement.  The ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Thomas J. Todorow has joined the University ... Corporate Services and the Chief Financial Officer at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia ... Care Contracting, Supply Chain, and Investments. , Prior to joining CHOP and The ...
Breaking Biology Technology: