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Objective

A short description of the study objectives

Pockmarks may contribute to biological productivity in an area while a sudden release of significant amounts of gas could have a catastrophic effect on biota or nearby structures. As Passamaquoddy Bay is home to a thriving salmon aquaculture industry, it is important to arrive at a better understanding of the biological and geochemical nature of these features and to determine whether or not they are relic features or of recent origin. In order to accomplish this a field program of seafloor surveying and sampling was carried out to address the following ecological questions regarding pockmarks in Passamaquoddy Bay:

  1.  Are the communities of benthic fauna different inside versus outside pockmarks? 
  2.  Can the types of benthic communities present determine the relative age of pockmarks?
  3.  Can the mega- and macro- in fauna indicate ecosystem functioning within pockmarks?

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