[Coral-List] Underwater sculptures (Todd Barber)

Ligia Collado-Vides colladol at fiu.edu
Fri Jul 6 11:30:42 EDT 2012

Dear all,

I was diving at that place in June, is a very interesting site for a phycologist. It is evident that that particular site receives large amount of nutrients is the only way you can get that amount of algae. However it is interesting to note at least two things
1. They deployed the sculptures in a sand area far from any reef, not  a lot of fish around, they need to risk and swim through bare bottom to get to that place. 

2. Dominant fleshy algae were  the brown algae Dictyota, Lobophora and Stypopodium. These algae like N, not much P, and were really in large amounts. compare with other sites around the area where algae are dominant, you have browns but also Laurencias......(red fleshy)
3. Several urchins were around ears and any type of little crevice around faces, eyes... 
4. I noticed some statues were "clean" of those brown algae, and covered by CCA and turf, they were intermixed and no clear explanation, currents ........., for being clean.
5. looking carefully the statues that were clean had at their bottom some structure, kind of a rock covering their feet, and yes down there one , I mean one  Diadema antillarum was present.....

These are the facts, of course replicated experiments, testing water quality.... will be required to have these observations accepted, but I think it was impressive.

About what to do? Well the big elephant is still around the Caribbean Reefs, nutrient loading, plus increase turbidity and extreme tourist activity, all issues that could-should-must be manageable, are destroying our reefs. On top of that all you know about climate change....... no more words...... 

Hope this info is useful for those that want to transform national parks in museums,  we need really badly to improve the water quality of our reefs.


Ligia (AKA Claudia) Collado-Vides PhD
Department of Biology, Marine Macroalgae Research Laboratory
Florida International University
11200 SW 8th Street, Building OE Room 167
Miami FL 33199
Web page: www.marinemacroalgae.com
Email: colladol at fiu.edu
Phone: 305 348 2274
Fax:   305 348 4096

We are 7 billion people sharing the planet............, allow microbes to do their job, and please recycle!!!!

From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov [coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml..noaa.gov] on behalf of Chad Scott [marineconservationkt at gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, July 06, 2012 5:54 AM
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Underwater sculptures (Todd Barber)

I think it is such a shame to see these amazing sculptures so covered in
macroalgae. I was really impressed when seeing the original pictures taken
shortly after the sculptures went down. Although I agree with most of your
points about the different stages of succession that artificial reefs go
through, I must say that this amount of algae should not be considered
'normal'. There is a problem here that definitely should be adressed.

I have assisted or led the deployment of dozens of various artificial reef
structures in the Gulf of Thailand (very high in nutrients) over the last 6
years, and have never had any of the sites become so developed in

How far away from a natural reef are these structures? Because it seems
from the pictures that no herbivores fishes are present. Generally when we
deploy sculptures or coral nurseries we will simultaniously deploy fish
nurseries to provide some some complex habitat and encourage herbivores
fishes to move into the site.

Also, how regularly are people going to maintain the site? Most people
really underestimate the man hours needed to properly take care of
artificial reefs until they develop to similar stages as the natural ones.

Good luck to both you and Jason in your efforts, this is still a really
great project and I hope that it will eventually end in even greater

Chad Scott
Marine Project Coordinator
Save Koh Tao Marine Branch

Program Director
New Heaven Reef Conservation Program

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