Davidson Seamount Taxonomic Guide

Erica J. Burton1 and Lonny Lundsten2
1Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
2Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Davidson Seamount Taxonomic Guide (6.1MB)

Davidson Seamount is one of the largest seamounts in U.S. waters and the first to be characterized as a "seamount." In 2002 and 2006, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) led two multi-institutional expeditions to characterize the geology and natural history of Davidson Seamount. Results from these expeditions to Davidson Seamount are adding to the scientific knowledge of seamounts, including the discovery of new species. In November 2008, the MBNMS boundary was expanded to include the Davidson Seamount. In addition, a management plan for Davidson Seamount was created to develop resource protection, education, and research strategies for the area.

The purpose of this taxonomic guide is to create an inventory of benthic and mid-water organisms observed at the Davidson Seamount to provide a baseline taxonomic characterization. At least 237 taxa were observed and are presented in this guide; including 15 new or undescribed species (8 sponges, 3 corals, 1 ctenophore, 1 nudibranch, 1 polychaete, 1 tunicate) recently or currently being described by taxonomic experts. This is the first taxonomic guide to Davidson Seamount, and is intended to be revised in the future as we learn more about the seamount and the organisms that live there.

Keywords: Davidson Seamount, taxonomy, corals, sponges, invertebrates, fishes, marine protected area, MPA, deep sea, guide, images, exploration, ROV, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

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