[Coral-List] Re: Climate change - Arabian Gulf as a case study
slcoles at bishopmuseum.org
Wed Jun 16 19:39:42 EDT 2004
For those interested in Arabian Gulf corals and the stresses that they endure. I have a recent review titled "Coral species diversity and environmental factors in the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman: a comparison to the Indo-Pacific region" that has finally appeared in Atoll Research Bulletins. For those without ready access to the Bulletin, I have recently received some reprints, available to the first 25 requestors.
S. L. Coles
1525 Bernice St.
Honolulu, HI 96817 USA
Ph. 1-808-847-8256 Fax 1-808-847-8252
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov [mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Bernhard Riegl
Sent: Tuesday, June 08, 2004 4:18 PM
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Climate change - Arabian Gulf as a case study
Hello Kate and Ian,
Further to Ian MacDonald's remark: Yes, indeed, the Arabian Gulf was pretty badly hammered by the three mentioned temperature anomalies. Featuring it as an example for the effects of climate change would indeed be a good thing and could help to coax local decision-makers into action to help relieve at least some of the most blatant man-made abuses these reefs are subjected to (we won't be able to do much about the climate...). Here I would also like to draw attention to the excellent work in the region by Charles Sheppard , by David George and David John, Yussuf Fadlallah and Steve Coles.
However, I would hesitate to completely write the Gulf off. It might indeed turn out to be an example how corals reefs could learn to cope with global temperature increases. We have seen quite startling evidence of apparent phenotypic adaptation, where coral species that bleached in 96 and 98 did not bleach in 2002. But more work is needed to substantiate that (those of you who will be in Okinawa will have a chance to hear the latest). In any case, good coral areas can still be found and, being an eternal optimist, I hope that they will remain (some severe degradation in certain regions will, however, likely be unavoidable). So there really is an interesting story to be found there.
Ian makes a good point in citing the "lights at the end of the tunnel". He makes an even better point in stressing the value of highlighting the plight of Arabian Gulf reefs. Few reefs are under more heat (in the truest sense of the word) from global climate change and human activities in the coastal zone. Anything we can do to convince local decision-makers of their value (and the fact that they will likely be able to persist somehow - so should not all be dredged away) will go a long way to preserving a valuable and threatened ecosystem!
Bernhard Riegl, PhD
National Coral Reef Institute
Nova Southeastern University
8000 N. Ocean Drive, Dania
(954) 262-3671 phone
(954) 262-4098 fax
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