Thursday, August 28, 2014

Andaman and Thomson Reuters Sponsor Marine Scioentists

Dr Gerry introducing the students to the Coral Nursery program.

We have just completed a three months internship program with students from UKM (National University of Malaysia) and UMT (University of Malaysia Terrenganu). 

Seven students were hosted by the Andaman Resort with the provision of food, lodging, and supervision.  Small allowances and minor research equipment were provided by the nature Fund through the contributions of Thomson Reuters.

Coral transplanting with guests was a daily occurrence.

Below are summaries of several of the projects. The remainder will follow in the next posts. All of the numerical results are able to be published through the University giving the graduates evidence of their research ability when job hunting.

A guest is guided through the nursery by an intern marine science student.

But it wasn't all about research. Interns spent long hours transplanting corals and working with guests. Self confidence improved as did language skills. The program was a great success.

Abundance of coral using quadrat method at Datai Bay, Langkawi

by Noor Zalikha Mohamad

The mini project was done on July and August, 2014 during the low tide. The sampling was done by using 2X2 m quadrat. Each of the division of the quadrat represents about 4% from the total percentage of 100%. 

The quadrat was placed at the first starting point which is in front of water sport and then  along the beach toward Anak Datai. There is 10 m distance between quadrats and three transect were done. The total quadrat samples completed were 45. 

The result shows that the most abundant material is sand/dead which is present the highest number (46.04%-66.03%) in all three transects. Most is dead coral with algae and also dead coral skeletons. 

The percentage of live coral is small (less than 5%) compared to dead coral. However the most abundant coral life form from the project is massive coral which is contribute the highest density among the life coral. Other corals are coral foliose, coral encrusting, coral submassive and also little portion of acropora branching. Other than coral, the macroalgae also has been found during conducting the project. Most macrolagae that has been found is Halimeda sp. and others is Padina sp.

The changes of sedimentation rate in Teluk Datai
by Chai Wan Jin

Nowadays, human activity has tended to increase terrigenous sediment loadings and re-suspension in the coastal waters  in all the coral reefs countries. This is because sediments from terrestrial origin were found is the main factor that leads to the decrease in growth of most corals (Heiss, 1996; Crabble & Smith, 2005). The high sedimentation rate in the coral reef areas would smoother the coral surface, reduces regeneration from tissue damage, reduces growth (Lough & Cooper, 2011) and thus bring to mortality of coral reef (Erftemeijer et al., 2012). 

Teluk Datai is a high sedimentation bay where Porites coral is the dominant species found in the reef due to the tolerate behaviour of the coral species to the high sediment content in the water (Abdullah et al., 2011). Therefore, the objectives of this study are to compare the sedimentation rate in October 2013, January, April and September 2014 and to study the changes of sedimentation rate in the mini-ARMS and ARMS during spring and neap tides.
Sampling will be done using sediment trap during spring and neap tides in Artificial Reef Module, and mini Artificial Reef Module in August (Table 1).  

The sampling is not yet complete because there is one more spring tide in this coming 26th and 27th August. Therefore, the sampling analysis will be done in the coming 1st September at Universiti Malaysia Terengganu.

The data in the previous sampling shows most of the sedimentation rate exceeded the coral tolerance limit, 50 mg/cm2/day in October 2013. However, it shows a better result in January 2014, where only Princess Bay had the sedimentation rate higher than the coral tolerant limit and the results show even better in April 2014 (Figure 1). These results could be due to the raining season in October and the strong wind from northeast in January which would create the most intense near-bed current and eventually would bring re-suspension from the bottom especially in the shallow water. 

 Measuring the rate of spread of a coral disease.

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