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At the bottom of the Amazon

In July 2017, a team of researchers from several Brazilian institutions embarked upon the U.S. vessel Alucia to record the coral reefs along the equatorial banks of the Amazon River and in the maritime zone it affects, from the Brazilian states of Amapá to Maranhão. “The further west you go, biodiversity changes because of the river,” explains biologist Gilberto Amado of the Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden (JBRJ). In the photo, he (next to pilot) is preparing to dive 300 meters into the Amazon canyon, together with the pilot of the submersible.  “In the deeper areas, you don’t find much diversity.  The most interesting dives happen above 150 meters.”

Image submitted by marine biologist Fernando Moraes, a researcher at the Research Institute of the Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden (JBRJ)