In Lab this week we took a trip to HIMB which is the Hawaii Institute for Marine Biology and is located on coconut island in Kaneohe bay. The point of the lab was to collect data underwater, compare the data from the reefs edge, flat, and back of the reef, and to also test for competition between coral species and alga. Transects were laid out at the three different locations along the reef structure the reefs edge, flat,and back. Once the transects were laid out two people were responsible for marking data along 15 meters of the 45 or 30 meter transects. There were 2 to 3 groups on each transect. At every 10cm data was recorded to what species lay there. This data helps us get a better view of the structure of a coral reef community as well as the competition accuring there. This experience was great, from observing the structure and snorkeling over it there was mostly sand with patches of algae and corral rubble, then all of a sudden it is like flat coral and algae with invertebrates living among or within in a sort of flat orientation, finally once you reach the reefs edge larger corals appear and more invertebrate life is visible. Being from California where kelp beds are more common than coral reefs it was nice to see the different corals and the invertebrates that were in and among the coral.
- Megan Thiessen