[Coral-List] more on the bottom-up/top-down issue

Gene Shinn eshinn at marine.usf.edu
Tue Oct 10 14:57:01 EDT 2006

Thanks Jeremy, I appreciate the list of publications. However, what I 
said was, "Hopefully all this fuss will stimulate someone to do 
large-scale experiments, especially ones that examine the effects of 
various nutrient levels on corals in controlled conditions." The list 
of outstanding publications you posted do not do that. They appear to 
be oriented more toward climate change issues determined by field 
observation, and computer simulations (regional variation using 
meta-analysis and large-scale sampling), etc. What I had in mind is 
basic manipulative research (that no one seems to do anymore) more 
along the lines of the ENCORE project, or controlled microcosm 
research aimed directly toward solving the nutrient issue. I know it 
is difficult, if not impossible, to separate the various and numerous 
factors causing reef demise, but it would be a start. Until such 
research is conducted we will likely continue the sophistry much as 
we did with the crown of thorns starfish issue during the 1970s.  Why 
doesn't someone  just get on with it and determine with direct means 
just  how many micro moles of nitrogen and other nutrients  are 
necessary to sustain a resilient coral reef?  Such data could then be 
compared with actual levels measured on actual coral reefs.  We might 
then have more basis for argument. Would knowing what level corals 
can or can not sustain also be useful for coral reef managers?  Gene

No Rocks, No Water, No Ecosystem (EAS)
------------------------------------ -----------------------------------
E. A. Shinn, Courtesy Professor
University of South Florida
Marine Science Center (room 204)
140 Seventh Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
<eshinn at marine.usf.edu>
Tel 727 553-1158---------------------------------- 

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