The Smithsonian’s Ocean Portal published an article about deep sea coral affected by the Deepwater Horizon incident and how their recovery is linked to the sea creature that lives on them. The ECOGIG research consortium are monitoring the health of these corals over time using high-resolution imagery, and they have made some amazing discoveries.
What are deep-sea corals? Why are researchers conducting studies on their health? What type of equipment do scientists use to conduct research at the deep ocean seafloor?
Deep-sea corals are important organisms that support a healthy and diverse deep-sea ecosystem. However, there is much we do not know about certain coral species, including how they grow, reproduce, or interact with other organisms.
Scientists from Haverford College examined Gulf of Mexico sediment and flocculent material (floc) associated with oil-impacted corals to study indigenous microbial communities and their oil degradation potential.
After the Deepwater Horizon incident, scientists faced the daunting task of locating deep-sea coral communities on the Gulf seafloor and assessing their condition.