Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Acropora spawning in Rincon, Puerto Rico

On August 31st, 2007, Dr. Nick Schizas Invertebrate Class laboratory went to the Marine Reserve Tres Palmas in Rincon, Puerto Rico to hopefully witness the Acropora palmata mass spawning event. We entered the water around 7:30 and started seeing bundles on some colonies around 8:30 to 9pm. The spawning event started roughly around 9:30pm. I honestly do not remember how long the event lasted because I was too focused on acquiring samples. I have posted some pictures of colonies partially full of bundles as well as videos of the colonies releasing bundles and bundles at the surface. The videos are me snorkelling while holding my camera on one hand and the flashlight on the other so it's kinda shaky. But it was very exciting to see the spawning again this year at Tres Palmas Marine Reserve!! Hope you enjoy the pictures and videos!

Monday, September 3, 2007


Same EXACT Obs as last night... At Elbow the same colony spit out a decent number of bundles and another colony had a tiny patch of tissue that released bundles but that is it. We got every bundle we could get by putting 2 collectors (pic) on one colony (that is desperate!). Sand Island still saw NOTHING! Not what we expected and very disappointing! On to Montastraea and Diploria now 8-(

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Something! 9-1-2007

Last night we were at Elbow Reef and Sand Island (see Aug post below). One colony spawned about 50% (sometimes that is all we see from a colony) and another colony released a few bundles (we caught 5 bundles from that colony but I did not see it so there may have been a few more that did not make it into the net). Hopefully this means tonight is the night! More random pics can be seen in our Spawning 2007 Album)

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Nada Encore

Same time same place same sights as last month's post... NOTHING at either place 8-( Fun w/ Squid though!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A. palmata spawn, Rincon & Bajo Gallardo, Puerto Rico, Aug 2-7, 2007

A team of researchers and professional aquarists from the USA and Europe went to Rincon to collect gametes of Acropora palmata for aquaculture and conservation research as part of the 3rd SECORE workshop (see workshop blog at http://www.secore.org/).

About 20 divers in groups of 2-3 persons observed the Tres Palmas reserve during the period of Aug 2-7. We additionally went to Bajo Gallardo on Aug 5-6. We observed the following:

- Thurs. Aug 2nd, 8.45 - 11.00 p.m. - No spawning observed
- Friday August 3rd, spawning observed in 3 medium to large colonies and gametes collected between 9.05 p.m. - 9.55 p.m.
- Saturday August 4th - slightly more spawning: 6 colonies spawned, gametes collected from 9.15 - 9.52 p.m
- Sunday August 5th - 4 colonies observed spawning 9.20 - 10.00 p.m.
- Monday August 6th - 3 colonies spawned between 9.27 - 9.51 p.m.
- Tuesday August 7th - no spawning observed

We additionally went by boat to Bajo Gallardo offshore the West coast of Puerto Rico on 2 days:
- Sunday August 5th - between 30-50% of the observed colonies (observed area about 50x50m) spawned massively between 9.20 - 9.45 p.m.
- Monday August 6th - no spawning observed in same area

The low spawning percentage in the observed period can probably explained by a split spawn. In comparison, the 2006 spawning was much greater with about >90% colonies spawning at Tres Palmas and slightly less spawning at Bajo Gallardo.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Aug 1-3, 2007 Elbow Reef

In short: nothing!
All 3 nights we arrived on site at Elbow Reef and set up @7:30pm then got back in the water @ 9:30pm and waited until10:30 or 10:45. We were watching colonies on 3 separate spurs (2 patches are our monitoring sites with >6 different genets that had ramets large enough to spawn. A total of 5 divers (experienced in palmata spawn obs) watching ~30 colonies did not find even a small patch of polyps with bundles and did not observe bundles in the water column. Depth of colonies 20ft or less. Colonies on two of the spurs were observed to spawn in 2005 and 2006.
A second team was observing colonies at Sand Island following the same routine and also saw nothing!