[Coral-List] Artificial reef construction using mineral accretion

Bob Buddemeier buddrw at kgs.ku.edu
Fri Feb 27 09:14:26 EST 2004

Without taking a position on reef restoration in general or by any 
particular method, I would like to pick up on a key comment by Gregor:

"A coral restoration system implies that the ecosystem will be returned 
to its original state before disturbance."

To me that sounds like a permanent commitment to tending the site as a 
cultivated garden.  Essentially every reef site today is in an altered 
and fairly rapidly changing climatic and biogeochemical environment, and 
the biological environments (in the sense of the size and distribution 
of the potentially contributory breeding population in the surroundings) 
have changed and will change in many or most cases.  While replacement 
of the original ecosystem with some sort of related surrogate (i.e., 
coral-reef community) is often not unreasonable, I think the expectation 
of  "return to its original state" in any detailed sense (including such 
basic features as % cover) is sufficiently unrealistic to assure 
failure. At some very basic level, almost every reef community we are 
looking at now is either a relict or a transitional state, viewed from a 
decade-scale perspective..

Gregor's cost-benefit and resource allocation points are well-taken, but 
to them I would add "Is the probable (as opposed to ideally desired) 
outcome likely to be worth the cost?"

Bob Buddemeier

PS (General): If you haven't otherwise heard, there is a new report on 
coral reefs and global climate change available for download at 
http://www.pewclimate.org/ -- the underpinnings for my viewpoint are 
presented in that.

Gregor Hodgson wrote:

>Todd has raised an interesting point. It would be quite interesting to see a
>cost comparison of coral cover produced over five years on a typical 5 km
>long by 100 m wide reef using:
>1) Natural recovery
>2) Enhanced recruitment (larval reseeding)
>3) Manual transplantation of coral fragments
>4) Reef Balls etc.
>5) Mineral accretion.
>The vast majority of reefs that have suffered physical damage or loss of
>living coral cover do not lack hard substratum. In fact, hard sea bed is
>usually abundant. Artificial reefs, when combined with MPAs, are useful
>tools to add hard substrata and to add habitat, particularly on soft seabed
>far from coral reefs. With rare exceptions such as a ship grounding in front
>of a resort or in a small MPA, is it a wise use of limited funding for reef
>conservation to invest in contructing artificial substrata?
>A coral restoration system implies that the ecosystem will be returned to
>its original state before disturbance. Which of the methods listed above can
>do this?
>Gregor Hodgson, PhD
>Executive Director, Reef Check
>Professor (visiting)
>Institute of the Environment
>1362 Hershey Hall Box 951496
>University of California at Los Angeles
>Los Angeles, CA 90095-1496
>Tel: 310-794-4985 Fax: 310-825-0758
>-----Original Message-----
>From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>[mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov]On Behalf Of Todd Barber
>Sent: Thursday, February 26, 2004 7:12 AM
>To: underwater Hedgehog
>Cc: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Artificial reef construction using mineral
>There are more practical(and cost effective)  ways to accomplish your
>goals....for example, see
>http://www.reefball.com/map/antiguascience/antiguapressrelease.htm for the
>most advanced coral restoration system in the world.
>Todd R. Barber
>Chairman, Reef Ball Foundation
>CEO, Reef Ball Development Group, Ltd.
>reefball at reefball.com
>6916 22nd Street West
>Bradenton, FL 34207
>reefball at reefball.com
>Alternate Numbers
>941-720-7549 Cell
>941-752-1033  Fax
>Larry Beggs 941-650-2519 (Mold Issues)
>Reef Ball Foundation 770-752-0202
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "underwater Hedgehog" <hgoudge at yahoo.co.uk>
>To: <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
>Sent: Thursday, February 26, 2004 9:32 AM
>Subject: [Coral-List] Artificial reef construction using mineral accretion
>>I am interested in the use of mineral accretion for
>>creating fast growing artificial reefs for:
>>1. As a means of redirecting tourist activities from
>>damaged reef areas to artificial structures.
>>2. To restore damaged reef habitats.
>>3. To protect fragile coastal habitats such as
>>mangroves and sea grass beds.
>>I am asking if anyone has looked at the structure of
>>coral skeletons grown on artificial reefs using
>>electricity to accrete minerals thereby cementing
>>coral colonies to the substrate.
>>Any information will be appreciated.
>>Please send to:
>>hgoudge at yahoo.co.uk
>>Harry Goudge
>>School of Ocean Sciences
>>University of Wales Bangor
>>United Kingdom
>>Yahoo! Messenger - Communicate instantly..."Ping"
>>your friends today! Download Messenger Now
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Dr. Robert W. Buddemeier
Kansas Geological Survey
University of Kansas 
1930 Constant Avenue
Lawrence, KS 66047 USA
e-mail: buddrw at ku.edu
ph (1) (785) 864-2112
fax (1) (785) 864-5317

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