26 July, 2014


Coral Line by: Rich & Lyns Tinto

Coral Type: Branching
Coral species: Acropora austera

This line is one of the most successful within the project, with a very low mortality rate and a nice solid growth rate. Having reached it's first birthday, this line will shortly be placed on the reef, where we hope it will remain healthy!

2.5 year update: We are sorry for not updating your survival data on the graph below, but as you will see from the photograph at 2 years and on the right, the colonies have become very difficult to tell the difference between! This line is growing extremely well, kept in the nursery passed its 1 year mark due to the El Nino event in April 2016. The line survived well through the El Nino induced bleaching, despite the same species dying out on local reefs! However, it was the victim of a Crown of Thorns Starfish which managed to climb the nursery frame and eat some of your colonies! We got rid of him and your line has grown well since. We will be transplanting soon! 

22 July, 2014


Coral Line by: Aakash & Priya Pujara

Message: "Grow little corals, grow!"

Coral Type: Tabular
Coral species: Acropora hyacinthus

Note: We are still amazed by the 0% mortality rate during the 6 month monitoring stage for this line! Following the 6 month point, we can see some mortality as the line became infected by a coral disease a few months ago. White syndrome is a disease caused by microorganisms, and in an effort to save the 6 fragments which became badly infected, we cut the infected areas off with bone cutting pliers. Initially we saw no mortality, but after a few months algae started to grow on the coral skeleton which appeared to kill the living tissue resulting in mortality of a few fragments.We are also surprised by the slow growth rate. On average for this species, we are seeing an 11 mm per 3 month growth rate, but this line is the slowest of the A.hyacinthus lines, with some fragments only extending 1 mm over a 3 month period- this slow growth is evident in the photographs. 

2 year update: We are sorry to report that this was one of the lines which died during the El Nino event of 2016. The warming event occurred in April 2016 caused the colonies of this line to bleach and die. To learn more about bleaching see our new bleaching page. Unfortunately, all of the lines of this species died during the bleaching event, both in the nursery and on the reef! Whilst this line has died, it's data will be used in our research. For any questions or if you wish us to plant you a new line, please email me on deborah.burn@gili-lankanfushi.com 

20 July, 2014


Coral Line by: Adam and Claira Dresher

Message: "For Bella Dresher"

Coral Type: Branching
Coral species: Acropora aspera

Note: When the 6 month monitoring stage arrived for this line, just like other lines of this species, it had grown incredibly fast! On our monitoring dive we were unable to measure it, as it has outgrown our calipers (200mm)! The fragments have almost doubled in size in 3 months! It appears immune system is compromised in the species in favour of fast growth though, and the fragments on this line were hit quite badly by a coral disease. Despite being infected by White Syndrome (a coral disease likely caused by bacteria) a few months ago, it has recovered well. Many of the fragments affected have suffered only partial mortality and are still growing. In April 2016, the sea surface temperature rose quite considerably causing a mass coral bleaching event. To learn about why this happened, you can visit our Coral Bleaching page. See below for the status of this line during the bleaching event. We will post more updates in the coming months.

2.5 year update: Unfortunately the El Nino killed this entire line. you can see from the photos at 2 years that it bleached badly, from which it could not recover. All of this species, both in the nursery and on the reef died. We just have a small patch remaining to us within our lagoon. We have since fragmented this in the hopes that the genetics contain some kind of resilience to the warming. We are sorry to report this, however the data collected will be valuable for our research. If you require more information or would like us to plant you another line, please email our project manager at deborah.burn@gili-lankanfushi.com.

After 2 years of growth, we can see Acropora aspera is a fast grower! It grew so well, that it became heavy and hangs below the other lines, making it impossible to photograph from above. However, it was very susceptible to the bleaching during the El Nino in April/May.
 Here we can see the surrounding corals have bleached white, as well as the branches of line 017. Some mortality has since occurred, however this is still useful data for us to learn which species will proliferate in the coming years.

If we zoom in, we can still the polyps are alive on this coral, and some brown colour is still present, which is a good sign. We will assess the full extent of damage in the coming month once the event is over. We can then see what percentage of this line survived, along with which species were most resilient. This will help us build a nursery of more resistant corals, which will eventually improve the resilience of our One Palm Island Reef transplantation zone!

15 July, 2014


Coral Line by: Catherine Joyce, David Joyce, Maria Joyce & Angela Rawlinson

Message: "For Jim: Now your presence will always be in the Maldives"

Coral Type: Branching

Coral species: Acropora selago

Note: Being the only line of this species, we are interested to see how it is growing. A. selago was a very fragile species to fragment. Myself and Vaidas had 2 hypotheses for this line: 1) We believed it would grow very quickly to make up for it's brittle skeletal structure, and 2) it would likely have a high mortality rate, as it may suffer more from fragmentation stress. With a 67% survival rate after just 3 months, and a further drop in survival after 6 months, it looks like our second hypothesis was correct, but 6.2mm growth per 3 months so far is very slow growth, which does not conform with the usual 'weak skeleton, fast growth' rule that appears to be true for other species such as A. aspera

12 July, 2014


Coral Line by: Cameron Dent

Coral Type: Branching
Coral species: Acropora sp.

Note: We are still unsure of the exact species, but hopefully as the fragments get larger, it might be possible to get a positive ID. This line is exhibiting a very high survival rate, and each frag is growing 8 mm per 3 months on average, which is similar to most small branching species as per our study such as Acropora austera (10mm), A. digitifera (8mm) and A. vermiculata (11mm). We are seeing similar growth forms exhibit similar growth rates.

2.5 year update: Please give us some time to update the survival graphs, we are sorry for the long delay. In the meantime, check the photo below. The line suffered severe mortality during the Coral Bleaching event in April 2016, but happily, there are still many colonies remaining, which are now HUGE and ready to transplant to the reef! Stay tuned, and we will keep you updated for transplantation! 

3 year update: A very special situation occurred today as Cameron, who donated this line three years ago, was able to transplant it onto the house reef. This is a fantastic achievement!  We transplanted it at six metres deep in an area where we can check regularly for this coral's survival and remove potential predators.  The fish were already interested in checking out their new home when this photo was taken.  Thank you so much for your assistance Cameron and family, you are a star!

02 July, 2014


Coral Line by: Richard and Claire Stokes

Message: "Keep up the good work!"

Coral Type: Branching
Coral species: Acropora aspera

2.5 year update: We are sorry for not updating your survival graph recently, it will be done in the next few days. Please find a photograph of your line below at 2 years. You will notice some obvious mortality. This was caused by the 2016 El Nino event which caused mass coral bleaching resulting in a loss of ~80% of coral cover in the Maldives. This species of Acropora aspera was particularly badly hit, however the remaining colonies on this line will be used to plant more lines of aspera which will help us restore our damaged house reef. These are some of the only colonies alive in the area, so whilst this looks sad, it is actually great news in the grand scheme of things!

Taking Care of the Reef: