[Coral-List] Major new TV series on coral reefs - advice

Julien CHALIFOUR chalifour.crpmem971 at orange.fr
Wed Nov 25 08:37:13 EST 2009

> Dear Coral List members,
> Just to try to answer to some of John's questions.
> 2. What sort of imaging techniques could be applied to the study of corals?
> A) Has anyone used multi-beam or side-scan sonar to map a whole coral reef
> in 3D. I have used these techniques on ship wrecks and the detail and
> resolution, together with the over-all understanding of the orientation and
> levels of depth in the wrecks is fantastic with today's equipment.
> B) We have already started to use time-lapse imagery underwater e.g. on
> anemone and urchins, and, to some degree on competition boundaries between
> coral species - what other subjects would benefit from looking at them in
> speeded up timeframes? The motion should ideally be slow and continuous
> (think clouds not bush crickets!)
> Maybe the bleaching process and seaweeds colonization. The change in the feeding behavior of coral polyps (day/night).

> C) Sometimes we do macro and micro photography in aquaria because of the
> difficulties of in-situ filming at these magnifications. However I think
> this is pretty artificial and would love to know of any stable underwater
> tripod systems etc. that could handle keeping the camera steady, even in
> mild currents.
> D) Have any endoscope camera systems been used to examine cavities within
> the corals?
> E) Has anyone used photo-multipler (Gen 3 and Gen 4 ) night-time imagining
> technology underwater (as opposed to infra-red that I think some animals
> might react to, and which does not penetrate sufficiently in any case in
> seawater). What sorts of applications might this have for the study of new
> behaviours on the reef at night?
> F) I have seen the UV reflection of many species of coral and would be
> interested to understand this further, or indeed other spectral ranges.
> 3. Coral reef behaviours previously unknown
> I know there are lots of behaviours waiting to be uncovered
> e.g. communal clown fish seem to have a dominant pair and there seems to be
> a range of vocalisations (clicking sounds etc.) that happen when a diver
> approaches.
> I know that clown fish's sounds have been recorded and studied by someone at the La Rochelle's Aquarium in France. And the behaviour your talking about is existing for clown fish: only 2 matures individuals per group/clan living on one or more anemone and the bigest clown fish is most of time the only mature female. An amazing thing to do is to remove this dominant female from aquaria and to observe the new hierarchy evolution in the fish tank.

> Another example would be courtship in the mantis shrimp with its amazing
> eye-sight (apparently able to see many more nuances of colour than
> ourselves).
> Many thanks. Really what is most important is that I understand the modern
> thinking on how a reef functions. Vital issues of warming and acidification
> would I expect be covered in an additional show, but this project is really
> to showcase the wonder of the coral to the world.
> Best regards
> Julien

Chargé de mission halieutique
Comité Régional des Pêches Maritimes
et des Elevages Marins de Guadeloupe
2 bis rue Schoelcher
97110 Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe (FWI)

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