Coral reef rehabilitation (fwd)

Coral Health and Monitoring Program coral at
Wed Feb 18 10:52:43 EST 1998

Forwarded message:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 17 Feb 1998 16:53:20 -0500
From: Harry McCarty <McCarty_and_Peters at>
To: Coral Health and Monitoring Program <coral at>
Subject: Re: Coral reef rehabilitation

Dear Wilson,

The first thing you need to be aware of is that all "zooxanthellae" are not
the same!  Has anyone found that the ones that inhabit clam tissues can
also infect coral gastrodermal cells?  Also, note that symbiotic algae from
one species of coral might not be able to infect another coral species.
Robert Trench and Robert Rowan have written some recent papers on this
topic.  I hope you will carefully check out the literature first.
Symbiotic algae from clam feces might serve as nutrient sources for other
organisms, that could be important on reefs.  One thing the clams might do
is, by filtering the water, reduce turbidity and increase light
penetration, making the area more hospitable to coral larvae that settle on
the reef and thus have a far better chance of surviving and growing (this
has been found with oysters in the Chesapeake Bay and zebra mussels in the
Great Lakes of the United States).  I'm not sure what you meant by
"degraded reef area where all supply of zooxanthellae to the water column
is cut off if you will" - do you mean that there will be fewer corals in
the area that might release symbiotic algae?  Good luck in your studies!

Esther Peters

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