as a Method of Reef
MASSACHUSETTS ACADEMY OF MATH AND SCIENCE
M i c r o - F r a g m e n t i n g C o r a l | 1
Table of Contents
Data Analysis and Discussion42
Assumptions and Limitations.45
Applications and Future Extensions...46
M i c r o - F r a g m e n t i n g C o r a l | 2
Micro-fragmenting is a process currently being used as a method of reef restoration for
coral reefs, but there have been few studies quantifying the effects of this process on growth rate.
The purpose of this project was to find the ideal size to micro-fragment coral. If one large piece
of Montipora capricornis is micro-fragmented into smaller pieces, ranging from 0-6 sq. cm
cross-sectional area, then the larger pieces will have a faster growth rate compared to the smaller
pieces. To perform this project, one piece of Montipora capricornis was cut, using a saw blade,
into 48 fragments. Each fragment was attached to ceramic disks using cyanoacrylate adhesive.
Fragments were placed in a 29-gallon tank equipped with lights, a filter, a heater, twelve
Calcinus spp. (red-legged hermit crabs), twelve Margarites pupillus (Margarita Snails), and live
rock. Supplements were added accordingly. The fragments were grown for nine weeks with
measurements taken approximately every two weeks. Exact measurements of fragments were
found using the computer imaging program, GIMP. There was a polynomial relationship
between the initial coral size and growth rate, with an r-squared value or 0.9219.
M i c r o - F r a g m e n t i n g C o r a l | 3
While working with pieces of coral at MOTE Marine Laboratory in the Florida Keys,
David Vaughan accidently broke a piece of coral that had attached itself to the bottom of the