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Biological communities studied at historical WWII shipwrecks along North Carolina

Date:
August 26, 2011
Source:
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Summary:
In the waters off the North Carolina coast, historically-significant World War II submarines and shipwrecks rest on the seafloor, a testament to a relatively unknown chapter in US history. According to a new report, the shipwrecks are not only important for their cultural value, but also as habitat for a wide diversity of fishes, invertebrates and algal species. Additionally, due to their unique location within an important area for biological productivity, the shipwrecks are potential sites for examining community change.

In the waters off the North Carolina coast, historically-significant World War II submarines and shipwrecks rest on the seafloor, a testament to a relatively unknown chapter in U.S. history. According to a new NOAA report, the shipwrecks are not only important for their cultural value, but also as habitat for a wide diversity of fishes, invertebrates and algal species. Additionally, due to their unique location within an important area for biological productivity, the shipwrecks are potential sites for examining community change.

In June 2010, scientists conducted biological and ecological investigations on four World War II shipwrecks (Keshena, City of Atlanta, Dixie Arrow, EM Clark), as part of NOAA's Battle of the Atlantic research project. At each shipwreck site, fish community surveys were conducted and benthic photo-quadrants were collected to characterize the mobile conspicuous fish, smaller prey fish, and sessile invertebrate and algal communities. In addition, temperature sensors were placed at all four shipwrecks, as well as an additional shipwreck, the Manuela.

The data, which establishes a baseline condition to use in future assessments, suggest strong differences in both the fish and benthic communities among the surveyed shipwrecks based on ocean depth.

The full National Marine Sanctuaries' Conservation Series report, "Fish and Habitat Community Assessments on North Carolina Shipwrecks: Potential sites for detecting climate change in the Graveyard of the Atlantic," can be viewed at: http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/science/conservation/pdfs/bota.pdf


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The above story is based on materials provided by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "Biological communities studied at historical WWII shipwrecks along North Carolina." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110825123835.htm>.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (2011, August 26). Biological communities studied at historical WWII shipwrecks along North Carolina. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110825123835.htm
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "Biological communities studied at historical WWII shipwrecks along North Carolina." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110825123835.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

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