Showing posts from August, 2008

Coral Spawning Slicks Take Over South Shore

We were out surveying coral reefs on Monday and saw many MASSIVE slicks of coral spawn along the South Shore. Each slick was composed of what must have been millions of coral larvae. With the calm winds of the past few days hopefully the larvae will stay around the island and make it back to the reefs where they can start the next generation of coral reefs!

Gone diving - not much time for blogging

A juvenile Four-eyed Butterfly Fish living on an Oculina coral head.

Sorry for the slow rate of change on the weblog.

We are out doing research dives most days until after 6pm.

Will put out updates as often as possible.

Thanks for reading our blog. More soon!!!

BREAM in the news again

The BREAM programme was described in the Royal Gazette newspaper today.

Here is the link - here

Many thanks to Amanda Dale for writing a great article about the BREAM programme, and to Chris Burville for taking such sporty photographs!

BREAM: Who we are and What we do


The Bermuda Reef Ecosystem Assessment and Mapping Programme

BREAM represents the marine side of the Bermuda Biodiversity Project (BBP) at the Bermuda Zoological Society (BZS).

The Bermuda Biodiveristy Project is the umbrella name for all research at the BAMZ facility, including projects conducted in conjunction with other organisations. The BBP goals are to initiate and coordinate a comprehensive local and international effort to catalogue all of Bermuda's flora and fauna, forming the basis for the sustainable use of the Island's living resources.

The BZS was created to enhance the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo for the benefit of Bermuda, its residents and visitors. The Bermuda Government provides continuous support of the physical plant and operational needs, while the BZS, a not-for-profit organisation, supports the development, education and research programmes at BAMZ, and organises special exhibits and activities for the community.

The aims of BREAM are:

A) To suppor…

A bed of nails??? What are we up to now?

By Brittany Huntington, Doctoral Student, RMSAS Univ. of Miami and BREAM summer graduate intern, funded by ACP

These terracotta tiles imbedded with nails are actually part of a larger experiment we are currently undertaking to explore the impact of herbivorous fishes on the recruitment and settlement success of young corals.

Bermuda is unique in the world for protecting its herbivorous fish communities through a now 30-year-old ban on fish pot. As a result, there are conspicuous bands of large-bodied parrotfishes and surgeonfishes roving over the reef of Bermuda and grazing down the standing macroalgal biomass on the reefs.

While healthy stocks of herbivorous fishes have been hailed as the key to preventing macroalgal phase shifts on coral reefs worldwide, little is known about how healthy, robust populations of the herbivores will impact the survival of young coral recruits.

By manipulating the fish access to our terracotta settlement tiles, we hope to better understand the role of lar…

Clod cards are what??

By Brittany Huntington, Doctoral Student, RMSAS Univ. of Miami and BREAM summer graduate intern, funded by ACP

What are these? Fossilized marshmallows? White chocolate petite fours? No no…this is real science people!

This abundance of ice cube shaped trapezoids are nicknamed “clod cards”: a simple yet effective way to measure water movement as a proxy for current and flow exposure at underwater sites (developed by Doty et al., 1971).

The mechanism is straight-forward. These plaster of paris ‘clods’ are all identical in composition, shape and size. Each clod should therefore dissolve slowly underwater at a constant rate.

By weighing the dry clod cards before deployment, leaving them underwater for a fixed time period (usually between 24-48 hours) and then collecting them and re-weighing each clod, we can determine the precise weight of plaster of paris lost from each card. Clods losing more weight were exposed to greater water flow than cards exposed to less water flow.

I am a visiting…