Substantial Among Reef Variation

One of the primary reasons for conducting our current reef project is to see how variation in ambient nutrient availability and the number of fish affect the fish pee-seagrass connection.  After six months, preliminary observations suggest that among reef variation is going to be substantial, providing us much latitude to understand the role of fish excretion.  Take three reefs just behind Man-O-War Cay, spaced just a few hundred meters apart.  The first picture in the sequence above is of a reef just in front of the main Man-O-War channel.  It supports ~10 species, but just 1 or or 2 individuals of each.  The middens in picture 2 suggests an octopus has taken up residence.  Picture 3 shows a reef just to the northwest (200m away) – it has perhaps 150-200 white grunts.  Then back to the southeast, right in front of house between the two channel openings, a reef that is completely covered in algae and almost no fish.  And of our 8 reefs we built last summer, interestingly just 2 had any lobster at all – but the 2 that did had some rather nice sized ones.  The reef with the most fish is shown in this video from the Bight of Old Robinson.  Going to be very interesting when we do extensive sampling across all 23 reefs (Abaco, Andros, New Providence, Haiti) next summer.

By | 2015-01-15T13:35:31-05:00 January 14th, 2015|Categories: Featured, Uncategorized|0 Comments

About the Author:

Craig Layman
My lab’s interdisciplinary pursuits provide for a multi-faceted understanding of environmental change in the coastal realm. We are ecologists, asking questions that span population, community, ecosystem and evolutionary sub-disciplines. We often use a food web based perspective, exploring top-down (e.g., predation) and bottom-up (e.g., nutrient excretion) mechanisms by which animals affect ecosystem processes. All of our efforts are framed within a broader outreach framework, directly integrating science and education, using approaches such as this website.

Leave A Comment