[Coral-List] Herbivory on oligotrophic waters

Szmant, Alina szmanta at uncw.edu
Wed Jun 18 17:40:00 EDT 2008

Hi Bachtiar:

This is a debated topic, but the weight of evidence is that (a) with
healthy levels of herbivory, reasonable levels nutrient enrichment (i.e.
not immediately next to a sewage discharge pipe) has little effect on
algal biomass accretion; (b)  with reduced herbivory, and under
oligotrophic conditions, algal biomass accretes (and can overgrow
substrate including coral).  One of the classic papers on this topic is
LEWIS, S. M. 1986. The role of herbivorous fishes in the organization of
a Caribbean reef community. Ecological Monographs 56:183-200.  This was
conducted on the very oligotrophic reef flats of Carrie Bow Cay back in
mid 1980s.  A number of studies including nutrient enrichment with and
reduced herbivory (caging) were included in the special issue of Coral
Reefs published in 2001 (Vol 19 no. 4).  The one authored by Smith et al
was conducted in a marine reserve on the big island of Hawaii where
there were high levels of herbivory.  During the lengthy and extensive
ENCORE experiment on the GBR daily enrichment for over 2 years had no
effect on algal biomass.  These and many more papers are reviewed in my
2002 paper is Estuaries (available on my web page).  Also look up
numerous publications by Tony Larkum and Laurie McCook.

Best wishes.

Alina Szmant

Dr. Alina M. Szmant
Coral Reef Research Group
UNCW-Center for Marine Science 
5600 Marvin K. Moss Ln
Wilmington NC 28409
Tel: (910)962-2362 & Fax:  (910)962-2410
Cell:  (910)200-3913
email:  szmanta at uncw.edu
Web Page:  http://people.uncw.edu/szmanta

-----Original Message-----
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
[mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Imam
Sent: Wednesday, June 18, 2008 2:29 PM
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Cc: coremap2 at yahoogroups.com
Subject: [Coral-List] Herbivory on oligotrophic waters

Dear all,
Herbivory is thought to be a key process in coral reef resilience.
studies have shown its importance in controlling macroalgae and provide
space for larval settlement. Most papers discussing about herbivory
exclusion experiments, however, do not clearly explain whether the
of study is oligotrophic or mesotrophic. Some other papers also indicate
that nutrients is not limiting factor of macroalgae growth. I would like
therefore to have your opinion or comments about this.
1) Is there any paper studying herbivory in oligotrophic waters?
2) Which one is more important in reconstruction of reef communities in
oligotrophic waters: herbivory vs corallivory?
Looking forward to have your reply.

Best regards,
Imam Bachtiar
Postgraduate School
Institut Pertanian Bogor, Indonesia

Coral-List mailing list
Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov

More information about the Coral-List mailing list