Coral Restoration Project off Eastern Shores

Off to a great start this summer along the eastern shore of Abaco. This field season I am continuing with my coral restoration work and asking ‘how do coral restored areas affect the local reef community?’ One of the questions I will be asking this year will be investigating the interactions between fish and coral health. Specifically, I will be asking whether or not the introduction of branched, structurally-complex coral indirectly has a positive effect for overall coral growth. Called a positive feedback, the idea is that the structure complexity will allow more and different types of fish to aggregate on the reef, which will in turn promote the presence of nutrients (i.e. fish pee) and algal grazers for optimal coral growth. We just finished all our initial measurements for two types of hard coral species: one sensitive and one insensitive to human stressors (e.g., development and run-off pollution). Our sensitive coral propagules are Acropora palmatta, aka Elkhorn, and our more stress tolerant coral propagules are Porites porites, aka finger coral. Here is a short video of our summer prep so far!

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By | 2017-12-01T14:02:14-05:00 June 3rd, 2015|Categories: Coral, Fish, Restoration|0 Comments

About the Author:

Enie Hensel
Broadly my interests lie in exploring the intertwining interactions between top-down and bottom-up mechanisms that have been anthropogenically impacted in coastal ecosystems. Currently, I am investigating how structure complexity and the presence of top predators affect patch reef fish communities in Abaco, The Bahamas.

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