The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) has been the site of extensive research, going back as far as the 1930s. Since 1989, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) has conducted semi-monthly cruises to collect data. Quarterly cruises are conducted by the California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations (CalCOFI). High-frequency radar (CODAR) measurements of ocean currents have been collected since 1995. Other complete or partial time-series measurements include: hydrographic (CTD, circulation), biogeochemical (nutrients, fluxes of particulate organic matter), and biological (phytoplankton biomass and functional groups, primary productivity and new production) parameters.
Phytoplankton samples have been archived since 2007 in liquid nitrogen for genomic analyses; these will be used to extend genomic analyses for biodiversity information at low to higher trophic levels back in time. (see eDNA section below). Analysis and forecast activities in the MBNMS are also supported by numerical modeling of ocean circulation conducted by the US Navy (Coupled Ocean/Atmosphere Mesoscale Prediction System; COAMPS) and ROMS models run under the auspices of Central and Northern California Coastal Ocean Observing System (CeNCOOS) and Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System (SCCOOS).
In 2015, MBON Monterey Bay research teams and collaborating partners deployed on the NOAA ship Bell M. Shimada. Andrew DeVogelaere, Research Coordinator for the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and MBON eDNA collaborators at the Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions Jesse Port, Rebecca Martone, and Collin Closek successfully sequenced DNA extracted from mesopelagic fishes collected with a midwater trawl deployed during the research cruise to explore sea life over the Davidson Seamount in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The Stanford researchers are comparing the DNA sequences from trawl-caught fishes to eDNA in water samples collected during the same cruise. The perspective is that eDNA will be a useful tool to detect mesopelagic fishes and other species in the midwater, which is a benefit because it can be both time consuming and expensive to use traditional sampling to detect these species. (See photos.)
The cruise was the subject of an ONMS Earth is Blue video “Exploring the Davidson Seamount”. Andrew DeVogelaere provides an overview of MBON collaborators, research activities and several of the advanced technologies used on the cruise to study the biodiversity of fish, marine life and birds that live in the Monterey Bay Sanctuary.
MBON Partners incorporate species diversity and basin-scale oceanographic time-series into Sanctuary Condition Reports
Jarrod Santora, University of California at Santa Cruz, John Field, NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC), Isaac Schroeder, NOAA SWFSC, and Steven Bograd, NOAA NMFS/SWFSC Chief of the Climate and Ecosystems Program, and Elliott Hazen, NMFS/SWFSC are developing time series of pelagic forage diversity and richness and linking them to basin-scale oceanographic drivers. The MBON working group updates brought this work to the attention of Jennifer Brown, MBNMS researcher, and resulted in inclusion of initial results in the “Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Condition Report Partial Update: A New Assessment of the State of the Sanctuary Resources 2015.“ (See Report below.) The time series contributed to assessments of the status of biodiversity (Question 9) and changing oceanographic conditions (Question 1) for the offshore environment of MBNMS. Once finalized, these time series will be available on-line and regularly updated, which will support the MBON goal of dynamic updates to Sanctuary status and trend reports.