Scuba collection of benthic foraminifera in Explorers Cove, Antarctica: An accessible model of the deep-ocean benthos

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Scuba collection of benthic foraminifera in Explorers Cove, Antarctica: An accessible model of the deep-ocean benthos

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Title: Scuba collection of benthic foraminifera in Explorers Cove, Antarctica: An accessible model of the deep-ocean benthos
Author: Pollock, NW; Bowser, SS
Abstract: Following the report of oligotrophic conditions on the western side of McMurdo Sound in the mid-1970s, Explorers Cove has become an important site for marine biological studies of shallow Antarctic waters. Of particular interest is the unique abundance of deep-sea-like fauna at scuba accessible depths. Work conducted over the last 15 years by research groups from Scripps Institution of Oceanography (La Jolla, CA) and the Wadsworth Center (Albany, NY) has focused on the rich population of agglutinated foraminifera in the cove. These unusually large, single-celled organisms may play important roles in deep sea nutrient cycles. Initial collection efforts relied on manual gathering of sediment from which specimens were hand-picked. In the mid-1980s, a fixed airlift sampler was developed to more effectively deliver sediment and intact organisms from 80-100 fsw to the surface. In 1994, a portable, diver-carried airlift was developed to permit equally effective collection from a range of remote sites around the cove. During the 1990, 1993 and 1994 field seasons, a total of 270 dive missions (547 person-dives) were conducted in support of this research (constituting 29% of the total 1864 McMurdo program person-dives made through these seasons). In addition to collection, divers carried out in situ experiments and completed extensive photographic and video documentation of natural and man-made disturbances.
Description: American Academy of Underwater Sciences (http://www.aaus.org/)
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/9674
Date: 1995

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