Francesca e Totino Coral Conservation Project - Planhotel

Adopt a frame

Francesca e Totino

Thank you for signing up to keep in touch with the Coral Conservation Project. Pictured above, you will find your coral frame as it was few days after construction. Your personal page will allow you to see more regular updates and amazing facts about the corals and animals living on your frame. By now having all the updates on one page, seeing the progress of your frame will be much easier and convenient. If you want to satisfy your curiosity even more, you can take a look at our Marine Blog Life and videos from the Marine Lab Diary or connect with us for more information.

Here is the start of a healthy coral reef relationship!

29 February 2020

Have you ever wondered why some corals are more colorful than others… That is because some corals increase the production of colourful protein pigments (such as these purple tips) when they are exposed to more intense sunlight and this colony, of a branching Acropora, is simply amazing. Scientist have found that these pink, blue and/or purple proteins act as sunscreens for the corals by removing substantial light components that might otherwise become harmful to the algae hosted in their tissue. Corals rely on these light-dependent miniature plants, the so-called zooxanthellae, since they provide a substantial amount of food. Furthermore, these tips consist of a particular polyp called an “apical polyp”. It is responsible of the growth of the particular branch. For instance, it will reproduce asexually by cloning itself, potentially an infinite number of times throughout its lifetime. Here and there, one of the “radial polyps” will differentiate becoming a new apical polyp with its distinguished purple color, driving the growth of a new branch.


Humans get a sun tan – corals become more colourful.

31 January 2020

Looking at your frame, you will see that it is doing amazing and the corals are really growing well since the last update even after the heated months and some stormy weather. We have done some recent maintenance on all the frames which include cleaning them, removing the invasive algae and coral predators to maximize growth. In the upcoming post we will show you close-ups of your frame and the coral fragments, with some interesting facts and findings about those that are on your frame. After 6 months you will see a similar post showing once again the progress of your frame.

31 December 2019

As you can see from the picture, your coral frame are colonized by some little, brown and green organisms called Ascidia. The species is called Didemnum molle (also known as the green barrel sea squirt or the green reef sea-squirt.) and is very common in the Indo-Pacific area. Ascidia is a filter-feeder, feeding on suspended plankton and detritus and its green color is given by the algae living in symbiosis with them, in this way the algae is protected by the predation and the Ascidia can receive energy from its little hosts. Luckily they don’t possess any threat to the corals when they are few in numbers, however they can colonize quite quickly on the frames through asexual budding, as such they are regularly removed to minimize competition with growing corals.