Tatiana Villalobos running transect. Photo credit: Giles Winstanley
Coral ecology: monitoring reef health
We are monitoring 14 reef sites in and around Sector Marino. Our expedition team regularly visits the sites to measure coral cover, species diversity, coral health, water temperature, pH and salinity. We have tagged 400 coral colonies, spanning the species range, which we follow through time.
We take small samples from each tagged colony for immunological analysis at laboratory in Santa Rosa field Station, Area de Conservacion Guanacaste. The goal is to find out how immunity may enable survival of some corals through adverse environmental conditions.
We believe it is vital to understand the biology of the corals and the dynamics of the reef system that we are aiming to conserve before we can do so effectively. But it's a race against time.