In an attempt to quantify the effects of Turbinaria density on herbivory rates, we implemented an herbivory assay at our study site (a beach that we call Sailing School). For the assay, we cable-tied nearly 150 pre-weighed pieces of algae to Turbinaria stalks in our plots of varying density and left them to the fishes for about 2 hours. We then collected the algae and re-weighed them to see how much was consumed by herbivores in the different plots.
We (my group members and I) went out in the afternoon and finished at about 5pm, so we caught a great view of the sky and the clouds as the sun was going down. After we got back to Gump and had dinner, we re-weighed the algae and calculated herbivory rates in our plots. We stayed up a little bit passed our professor’s and T.A.s’ bedtime to get all the numbers in our computer, so we’ll have to wait until the morning to get their advice about whether or not it our findings are significant. Fingers crossed!