Blog by Brittany Tominez, 2018 FOR Guam summer intern
It’s been a while since our last update. So let’s catch up: In early July, we met to go over all the data we have collected this far. We analyzed and graphed our data, which included benthic cover, macroinvertebrates, and algae removal. This gave us a “big picture” view of all the data we collected. Val showed and explained to us averages of our data adds to accuracy of analysis and results.
Preliminary analysis of our survey data helped us formulate different perspectives to determine which direction we wanted to continue with for the rest of our research project. From that point, we brainstormed possible hypotheses and research questions. We split the background research into three sections: the effect algae has on coral, the relationship between algal removal and fish, and the relationship between algal removal and macroinvertebrates in the area. The literature review will helped us learn more about the ecological relationships for our three topics. We gained more background on the ecological dynamic between algae and corals, the role of fish on coral ecosystems, and the effect of restoration techniques through algal removal. After our meeting, we also decided to add fish surveys to the project. Next, we have to do our follow up monitoring surveys to see any changes over time from algal removal.