After 90 days of exposure to natural conditions, Ellisolandia mimics have been collected (Fig.1) by using harmer and chisel. The resin came out easily, so the rocks have been properly cleaned in order to avoid the lost of any residuals of resin and silicon in the sea.
Figure: A) ‘mimic’ sampling, B) ‘mimic’ and it associated fauna in a sampling bag
After ‘mimics’ sampling, replicates of the natural reef have been collected in order to compare the fauna of both ‘reefs’. Also, chemical and physical parameters have been measured, according to the weekly monitoring plan.
Once in the lab and looking closer to the ‘mimic’, the colonization of the artificial substrates was impressive (Fig. 2). Flora and fauna fully covered the ‘mimics’ but also the resin used for fixing them to the rock.
Figure 2. A) ‘mimic’ after 90 days of exposure to natural conditions, B) organisms living on the artificial substrate.