[Coral-List] fish and corals smell reefs

Dennis Hubbard dennis.hubbard at oberlin.edu
Fri Aug 22 13:10:56 EDT 2014

Thanks Doug:

Great articles.... and very innovative. However, at face value the studies
seem to show that coral larvae have a means to identify places where
settlement would be futile. The subtitle "the scent of a healthy
ecosystem *could
rejuvenate degraded coral reefs*" infers, at least to me, that we might
somehow synthesize the scent of a "healthy reef" to encourage recruitment
as a means to "fix" the reef. In this scenario, wouldn't it be more akin to
telling people "pay no attention to those flames, this is a great
neighborhood to buy real estate in"?

It seems to me that, if a system is "healthy", it will sent off the
appropriate smells on it's own.... and we needn't do anything.
Alternatively, if it isn't, then all we'd be doing is encouraging
settlement in a high risk area.... and we shouldn't do anything? Thus, the
study provides insight into how corals know how to make wise real-estate
decisions, but a management strategy that tries to create such cues to
encourage recruitment on marginal reefs would be unwise.... yes?


On Fri, Aug 22, 2014 at 12:39 AM, Douglas Fenner <
douglasfennertassi at gmail.com> wrote:

> Baby corals and fish smell their way to the best home.
> New research suggests the scent of a healthy ecosystem could rejuvenate
> degraded coral reefs
> http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2014/08/baby-corals-and-fish-smell-their-way-best-home
> How do coral reefs recover?  by John Bruno
> http://www.sciencemag.org/content/345/6199/879.short
> Chemically mediated  behavior of recruiting corals and fishes: a tipping
> point that may limit reef recovery.  Science.
> http://www.sciencemag.org/content/345/6199/892.abstract
> I thought these might be of interest.   Cheers,  Doug
> --
> Douglas Fenner
> Contractor with Ocean Associates, Inc.
> PO Box 7390
> Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799  USA
> phone 1 684 622-7084
> "belief in climate change is optional, participation is not."
> belief in evolution is optional, use of antibiotics that bacteria have not
> evolved resistance to is recommended.
> website:  http://independent.academia.edu/DouglasFenner
> Blog:
> http://cctus.org/conservation-science/2014-expedition-scholar/2014-expedition-scholar-douglas-fenner-ph-d/2014-expedition-scholar-blog/
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Dennis Hubbard
Chair, Dept of Geology-Oberlin College Oberlin OH 44074
(440) 775-8346

* "When you get on the wrong train.... every stop is the wrong stop"*
 Benjamin Stein: "*Ludes, A Ballad of the Drug and the Dream*"

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