transplanting Acropora cytherea to MHI (fwd)

Coral Health and Monitoring Program coral at
Fri Feb 9 15:19:56 EST 1996

Forwarded message: 

---------- Forwarded message ---------- 
Date: Wed, 21 Feb 1996 19:26:52 -0500 
From: Ursula Keuper-Bennett <howzit at> 
To: owner-coral-list at 
Subject: Re: transplanting Acropora cytherea to MHI (fwd) 

To Ed Parnell: 

First off I am a layperson whose only knowledge of corals is limited to the 
ones I dive with in West Maui.  I do however know some of them (entire coral 
heads) quite personally.  I can even tell you what year they got smothered 
and died. 

During a series of algae blooms (Cladophora) the corals that got killed off 
the quickest were Pocillopora endouxyii and also Pocillopora  meandrina. 
While these corals would stand the pounding winter waves and yes, to some 
extent even being blasted by sand and silt assaults, one season of 
Cladophora blooms did many of them in. 

At 04:23 PM 2/20/96 -1000, Ed Parnell wrote: 

>As you mentioned in your reply, the inertia to establish corals to  
>rehabilitate/enhance reefs, if not regions, is immense.  But, it may be that  
>Acropora got started in the MHI it would do quite well on its own seeding  
>the region from a few strategically placed reefs. 

I just checked what Acropora looks like in the book Living Corals.  I could 
not find cytherea but many of the Acropora species appear to have 
finger-like branches and a rasp-like appearance.   

In this respect they are as vulnerable to algae blooms as their Pocillopora 
cousins.  The Cladophora snags on the branches and does them in.  While I am 
not suggesting our dive site is typical of the Hawaiian Islands, I am 
suggesting nutrient input and runoff are an increasing problem and MORE of a 
concern than any pounding winter waves. 

The decline of many Hawaiian corals has more to do with suspect-to-poor 
water quality and lack of serious commitment to protect their ocean 
environment than anything nature could toss their way.   

Ed Parnell then wrote: 

>These may be grandiose ideas but I think some discussion is warranted and at  
>least a transplanting pilot study should be done with A. cytherea here in  
>Hawaii.  What do you think?  

Please correct me if I am wrong but I believe there was an interesting 
transplanting study done on Oahu (Kaneohe Bay?) where Red Hypnea, a Florida 
native was studied as a money "crop".  As I heard it it was not feasible and 
the plant was let loose.  Other stories say it got loose. 

Anyway, that Red Hypnea piles up in various parts of Maui every summer now 
including our dive site.  It is now so "successful" it has become a 
permanent blight.  I am in no way suggesting a coral could accomplish 
something this impressive or fast in a little over a decade, I am just 
pointing out the side-effects of many "introductions" inflicted on the 
Hawaiian Islands. 

Ed Parnell then wrote: 

 Would there be resistance to this idea by  
>the public or reef scientists?  

I can tell you with all due respect, I know of at least ONE..... 

Aloha and best 

                      ^                  Ursula Keuper-Bennett 
                     0 0                 Mississauga, Ontario 
            /V^\     I I    /^V\         Email: howzit at 
          /V     Turtle Trax    V\ 
        /V      Forever Green     V\ 

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