Tuesday, August 26, 2008

No Palmata Spawn Observed in STT and STJ

Hello All,

I hoped to observe A. palmata spawn on St. Thomas and St. John, USVI, this year. I'm sorry to report that I observed no spawn at Flat Cay, St. Thomas, on tuesday, August 19, 2008 (between 8 and 10pm). I also observed no spawn at Hawksnest Bay, St. John, on both Wednesday, August 20th, and thursday, August 21st (between the times of 8:30 and 10pm). During the past several years, Dr. Caroline Rogers and others have observed the elkhorn colonies at Hawksnest Bay and have observed little spawn. I'm glad to see that others are seeing the spawn!

Allan Bright

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Ap Spawn at Elbow

Last night (Friday Aug. 22) was the first night we were able to go out to look for spawn due to the lingering effects of Tropical Storm Fay which brought rough seas and very limiting visibility. We were stationed at Elbow Reef and had previously identified the 7 unique genets with ramets large enough to potentially spawn. We got in the water at 9:30 and immediately saw a few bundles set on one of the genets and approximately 15min later a few set bundles were observed on 2 other genets. A fourth genet on the next spur however had large numbers of set bundles. Collectors were placed over the set bundles and bundles released around 10:30 to 10:45. The numbers of bundles released from different genets did not allow multiple crosses but at least one cross/batch yielded excellent fertilization. More details to follow! (P.S. Special thanks to National Undersea Research Center for the XL boat and Captain Tim for taking us out!)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Waiting for spawn

Lovely scenery while we are waiting (and hoping) for spawn. Seas are
calmer than we thought but visibility is still pretty low.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Fay put the Kibosh on spawning (so far)

Tropical storm Fay passed over the Florida Keys the night before the first night planned for spawn collecting and the rough seas and high winds have not dissipated so we have missed all three nights that were most likely for spawning. We are hoping to go out on Friday Aug 22nd (night 6 after the full moon) which would normally be considered too late but we are hoping that the corals have been delayed too 8-(. Abel and I did some snorkel reconnaissance on Wednesday to see if it might be workable and he shot the video below. We were happy to find the Acropora in pretty good shape but as you can see the conditions are not exactly workable!
video

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Spawning 2008

Hey fellow acropora-ites... just thought I would post a reminder that this blog is still 'up' and waiting for posts on any acropora spawning observations from this upcoming season!
Our BEAR (Benthic Ecosystem Assessment and Research) team will be monitoring 2 sites for Acropora palmata spawning in the upper florida keys on the nights of August 19, 20 and 21st. We will try to post promptly and hope to hear from others as this helps us know what to expect the next night. Happy spawning!