Peter S. Vroom

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Marine biodiversity of the United States (U.S.) is extensively documented, but data assembled by the United States National Committee for the Census of Marine Life demonstrate that even the most complete taxonomic inventories are based on records scattered in space and time. The best-known taxa are those of commercial importance. Body size is directly(More)
Identification of the progenitors of plants endemic to oceanic islands often is complicated by extreme morphological divergence between island and continental taxa. This is especially true for the Hawaiian Islands, which are 3,900 km from any continental source. We examine the origin of Hesperomannia, a genus of three species endemic to Hawaii that always(More)
The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) are considered to be among the most pristine coral reef ecosystems remaining on the planet. These reefs naturally contain a high percent cover of algal functional groups with relatively low coral abundance and exhibit thriving fish communities dominated by top predators. Despite their highly protected status, these(More)
Numerous studies have documented declines in the abundance of reef-building corals over the last several decades and in some but not all cases, phase shifts to dominance by macroalgae have occurred. These assessments, however, often ignore the remainder of the benthos and thus provide limited information on the present-day structure and function of coral(More)
Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in the Northwestern Hawai`ian Islands is the second largest marine protected area in the world, providing an opportunity for scientists to understand natural ecosystem fluctuations in subtropical marine communities with little anthropogenic impact. Gardner Pinnacles is composed of two emergent basaltic rocks and(More)
Identifying the baseline or natural state of an ecosystem is a critical step in effective conservation and restoration. Like most marine ecosystems, coral reefs are being degraded by human activities: corals and fish have declined in abundance and seaweeds, or macroalgae, have become more prevalent. The challenge for resource managers is to reverse these(More)
This paper presents a comprehensive quantitative baseline assessment of in situ net calcium carbonate accretion rates (g CaCO3 cm(-2) yr(-1)) of early successional recruitment communities on Calcification Accretion Unit (CAU) plates deployed on coral reefs at 78 discrete sites, across 11 islands in the central and south Pacific Oceans. Accretion rates(More)
Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge is the second largest atoll under U.S. jurisdiction in the Pacific Ocean. Until recently, little was known about benthic communities and, more specifically, algal abundance at Palmyra aside from species lists generated during 1916, 1955 and 1959 expeditions. Since 2000, NOAA's Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center,(More)
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