Need for standardization in nutrient enrichment studies?

Micky V. Schoelzke mickyfit at
Tue Aug 17 09:38:43 EDT 1999

I would like to throw in some ideas that came to me while working on nutrient enrichment on aquarium grown nubbins of S. pistillata. From my few month experience in this kind of experiments and with a close look at the literature published, I  thought that there is a crucial need of some standardization. Indeed, nutrient enrichment experiments have produced a large amount of data which is hardly comparable. during my work, I experienced trouble finding the right protocol. What I wanted was a constant enrichment of iron and/or nitrate in my experimental tanks and this is only feasible with a precise protocol. A lot of laboratory based enrichment studies were done by "flushing" periodically some elevated concentrations of a given nutrient in the tanks and very few studies actually measured the "real" amount of nutrient present in the system at all times. My ecotoxicology course are still in my memory, and in this field, there are some standardized bioassays published, making it easy for researchers to perform experiments which are reproducible and easily compared with each other. I think that this could be done in coral research: there could be protocols set up which would be very useful for comparisons between geographical areas and growth conditions. A reproducible protocol on coral nubbins and whole colonies performed in laboratory conditions is very feasible (the protocol I use would be) and the same reproducibility is probably achievable (although probably requiring more sophisticated techniques) in the field on colonies of single species and on coral communities. 
I would welcome any ideas about the subject, which has puzzled me for some time.
I 'm not a researcher yet, but only a Master's degree student discovering the hard time of research on corals so I hope you don't find me a bit presomptuous! This is only an idea that came from struggling through literature!!
Thanks for your reactions.

Tel: (33) 0662592560
mickyfit at
mickyfit at
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