Palmyra Atoll 2006
Enric Sala of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography invited our lab to join an expedition to Palmyra Atoll and Kiritimati Island in the Central Pacific Line Islands.  I went to Palmyra Atoll, while Armand Kuris and Jenny Shaw went to Kiritimati.  Palmyra Atoll is a relatively undisturbed ecosystem in the central equatorial Pacific.  Previous studies by Scripps in the Line Islands indicated that tropical reef communities were degraded at places like Kiritimati where fishing was high.  The purpose of the expedition to was to collect detailed demographic data on fishes and determine a number of aspects of their biology.  My role was to sample parasites from the fishes.  The hypothesis being that the complex food web at Palmyra Atoll would support a higher diversity of parasites than the overfished food web at Kiritimati Island.  Credit all photos to Kevin Lafferty, U.S. Geological Survey.
Palmyra Photos, Kevin Lafferty
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