Friday, November 20, 2009


For the last few years our lab has been involved in putting ARMS on reefs. These are Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures. The idea was to come up with a standardized unit to measure reef biodiversity. Each unit consists of PVC plates, spacers, and some wire mesh. The whole thing is anchored to the reef, and left to sit and get settled for a full year.

With Creefs back at Heron island for another season of biodiversity surveying, it was time to pull out the ARMS that had been placed last year. The video is of Shawn removing an ARMS from the bottom, and carefully boxing it and carrying it to the surface.

Taking them apart and sampling them fully is time intensive- and quite a few of the species we have gotten so far have not come from any other method of sampling, including the "Muppet Crab" featured at the bottom of the post.


The ARMS is carefully released from it's box....

The layers are unbolted

The mesh layer is on top.

Then several PVC layers

Everything is brushed carefully and all obvious creatures and plants are removed.

Everything is carefully rinsed and the rinse-water strained for small organisms

And then the specimens are carefully sorted to species in the lab.

And the treasures appear!

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