Cryptofauna Monitoring System (CMS)

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Cryptofauna Monitoring System (CMS) is an experimental study based on a coral reef monitoring project called Autonomous Reef Monitoring System (ARMS). CMS is an indigenous system developed by NCSCM designed uniquely for site specific deployments.This is first time such a concept has been applied to study the cryptofaunal diversity from the coral reefs of India. CMS is a remodelled version of ARMS (Figure 1). CMS modules are ideal for the study since it mimics the complex coral reef frame and causes minimal disturbances to the reef ecosystem.

Figure: (a) ARAMS Module

Figure: (b) CMS Module

The materials used to build the CMS structures are acrylic plates, concrete slab, mesh layer, and floral foam layer, whereas material used in ARMS structure, were PVC plates. As plastic ban was initiated in India in 2019, PVC plates were replaced with Acrylic plates. Acrylic plates are eco-friendlier than PVC as they are more durable and shows superior weather resistance. Several experimental and artificial reefs set-ups have used concrete as substrate to study coral reef environment and proved to be an ideal material. Also concrete slabs provided more dead weight to stabilize the modules in harsh weather condition. Floral foam is used to replicate the sponges in reef ecosystem whereas mesh mat resembled soft corals like sea fan

Objectives of the CMS project

  • To use a standardized method to study the cryptofaunal diversity in a reef ecosystem
  • Designing and building indigenous Cryptofauna Monitoring System [CMS]
  • Testing its capability to serve in documentation of the cryptofaunal taxa
  • Species documentation for a particular reef area as a baseline study and strengthening species diversity