Acropora Gardens

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Mangareva contains more diverse coral habitats than anything we have seen to date. Parts of the outside rim of the atoll are emergent. The cross sectional profile starts with a classic reef flat, 10 m wide in places and often …

Cauliflower Coral

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Cauliflower coral, in the genus Pocillopora, are among the most widely distributed and most abundant corals found on the fore reef. These branching corals are covered with small bumps (called verrucae), which contain corallites and help in the identification of …

Coral Bommies and Patch Reefs

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Navigation hazards are many in Hao Atoll, due to a myriad of submerged patch reefs that rise to the surface from the 60 m deep lagoon floor. These reefs are distributed in a seemingly random pattern. Some are circular and …

Hao Atoll at Eye Level

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Research dives can be distilled down to lists of what is seen and what is not seen. Surveying the reef means figuring out what is there and what is missing. For the last few days, the science team has been …

Celebrating Fish Diversity

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Fish communities in the Tuamotu Archipelago have been much more diverse than in Society Islands, especially on the fore reef.  The fish are not only more abundant, but they are larger overall, meaning greater biomass, which is good for reefs …

Reefs Around Rangiroa, Aratika and Raraka

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After two weeks, we’ve completed reef assessments around Rangiroa, Aratika, and Raraka and are now examining Fakarava. Tuamotu reefs are dramatically different from Society Islands.  Besides the near absence of crown of thorns seastars (we’ve seen a handful in the …