[Coral-List] Poor terminology in coral reef research 1: autotrophic corals

Thomas Goreau goreau at bestweb.net
Thu Nov 2 11:49:58 EST 2006

A recent paper in Nature recently claimed to have "discovered" that  
"some" corals eat zooplankton. For many years most coral reef  
researchers have described coral reefs as autotrophic organisms, and  
assumed that they can live off light alone without feeding. This has  
been known to be completely untrue for more than 80 years. Those  
wishing to seriously understand coral nutrition are referred to:

T. F. Goreau, N.I. Goreau, & C. M. Yonge, 1971, Reef corals:  
Autotrophs or heterotrophs?, Biological Bulletin of the Marine  
Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole (Biol. Bull.), 141: 247-260

Thomas J. Goreau, PhD
Global Coral Reef Alliance
37 Pleasant Street, Cambridge MA 02139
goreau at bestweb.net

More information about the Coral-List mailing list