Priority Areas

  • Climate Change


Just as a brick building would collapse without any mortar, so too would coral reefs without their ‘cement’. 

Crustose coralline algae, or CCA, is an important part of what stabilises reef structures in changing conditions. 

To determine just how rising temperatures and ocean acidification affect CCA, researchers have deployed more than 144 'stations’ across 18 reefs. 

Designed from concrete blocks covered in settlement tiles, these inventive stations are monitoring how CCA calcifies and grows under differing environments.

What are coralline algae?

  • Pink
  • CaCO3 skeleton
  • Diverse (and beautiful!)
  • Beneficial roles

Two key roles:

  1. they contribute significantly to reef calcification and cementation, and
  2. they induce larval settlement of many benthic organisms.
Coralline algae

Coralline algae

Project goals

  • METHOD of developing a way to measure coralline algae calcification
  • MEASUREMENTS of coralline algae calcification along the Great Barrier Reef
  • MONITOR the Great Barrier Reef into the future to track impacts of climate change on the reef
Locations of the stations

Locations of the stations

Three replicate reefs in each location (> 1km apart)

Project process


Designing the station


Building the stations

Sorting corallines.jpg

Sorting corallines

Setting in epoxy.jpg

Setting in epoxy

Deploying blocks.jpg

Deploying blocks

Weigh and measure.jpg

Weigh and measure

Sort and dry.jpg

Sort and dry

Pack and ship back to lab.jpg

Pack and ship back to lab