Taking the Pulse of the Ocean

Each MarineGEO site will have a defined geographic footprint encompassing major local habitat types, share a set of standardized scientific protocols, and collaborate in training and data sharing.

Research Objectives

Using standardized, long-term observations and experiments conducted across sites, MarineGEO will:

  • Assemble a multifaceted biodiversity database for each site in the network, including maps, physical specimens, images, and genetic material
  • Map changes in marine communities through time and around the globe
  • Monitor the pulse of ocean life via long-term measurements of changing environments and living community responses
  • Conduct experiments to understand species interactions and identify vulnerability to stressors (climate change, nutrients, fishing)
  • Reconstruct the history of coastal communities and human impacts from prehistoric to modern times

Core Research

Each research site will conduct regular observations and experiments focused on:

  • Environmental drivers like weather, water temperature, salinity, nutrients, dissolved oxygen and carbon, and pH
  • Distribution of those plants and animals that provide habitat structure for others, including mangroves, seagrasses, kelp, marsh plants, and corals
  • Biodiversity and community structure, to include identity, abundance, functional characteristics, and feeding relationships among plants, microbes, and animals using collections and state-of-the-art molecular and imaging approaches
  • Ecosystem processes like the production, cycling, and storage of carbon and other materials via assays of plant production, as well as grazing, predation, decomposition, recruitment, and species invasions