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

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!