Sunday, 22 May 2016

Devin and Ashley - Old Sweat Bank

Devin Widrick
Ashley Ebersole

Old Sweat Bank
Characteristics:
  • May 16, 2016
  • “Raging” current 
  • Shallow and shelly
  • Scattered rains and wind picked up
  • Visibility – 5 to 8 feet; but got progressively worse with the winds and clouds
  • Depth - 1 to 10 feet
Corals:
  • Cladocora arbuscula
  • Groovy coral - Manicinia areolata
  • Porites furcata
  • Siderastera radians

Sea Grass:
  • Thallassia testudinum – Turtle grass
  • Syringodium ssp. – Shoal grass
  • Halodule wrightii – Manatee grass

Algae:
  • Laurencia ssp.
  • Neogoneolithon strictum
  • Dictyosphaeria ssp.
  • Penicillus capitatus
  • Penicillus dumetosus
  • Udotea ssp.
  • Halimeda ssp.

Annelids:
  • Polychetus ssp.
  • Spaghetti worms
  • Christmas tree worm

Fish:
  • Gold spot goby
  • Diamond pipe fish
  • French grunts
  • Great barracuda
  • Jawfish
  • Schoolmaster snapper

Invertebrates:
  • Octopus joubini
  • Mantis shrimp
  • Tri-color hermit crab
  • Snapper shrimp
  • Spiny lobsters
  • Purple anemone
  • Brittle star
  • Tulip snail
  • Queen conch
  • Purple tube sponge
  • Colonial tunicates

Comparisons:
  • Comparisons to Old Dan Bank and Koch Key
    • Steeper drop off on one of the sides than Old Dan Bank
      • Stronger current at Old Sweat Bank as a result of being by the bridge where the water flows from the Gulf to the Atlantic Ocean. This eroded part of the bank.
    • Denser seagrass
      • More nutrients and more light
        • More currents bring nutrients and cleaner water
    • More diversity
      • More gastropods
    • Human impacts
      • CDOM (chromatic dissolved organic material) – influences water color, algae blooms, and sediments present
        • Reduces light
  • Comparisons to Long Key Point to Looe Key
    • The dives we did after Old Sweat Bank in general got deeper and populated by more hard and soft corals.
    • Their were also more adult fish and overall larger species
      • Sharks (nurse and reef), goliath grouper, green moray eel, and sea turtles (hawksbill and green sea turtles)
      • Adult snappers and larger coral mounds
        • The larger animals were likely at these deeper reef because they need more space and less shelter than the juveniles.
    • We did, however, see starfish and huge horse conch shells at Old Sweat Bank. This could be a result of not looking in the right places, however. The deeper locations made it more difficult to look for some of the better camouflaged animals due to air not being readily available.

Pictures from the Site:







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