[Coral-List] Herbivory on oligotrophic waters

Michael Risk riskmj at univmail.cis.mcmaster.ca
Sun Jun 22 19:50:38 EDT 2008

Selamat pagi, Pak Imam.

I would not want you to believe that this matter is settled. One of the
main problems is, there has been a lot of one-sided science done in
compromised areas. 

I offer you some examples from your own country:

Tom Tomascik, in several papers and his book, outlines some of the
threats. He describes the total disappearance of reefs off Jakarta,
that were overwhelmed by the pollution load. He also shows how 100%
coral cover can be achieved, on fresh substrates, in only a few
years-but only if the water is clean.

Edinger et al 1998 (Mar Poll Bull 36: 617-630)present an overview of
the factors affecting Indonesian reefs, and show that land-based
pollution is the most important factor.

Edinger et al 2000 (Mar Poll Bull 40: 404-425) produce balance sheets
for reefs in eutrophic and oligotrophic conditions. They show (again-as
if there ever was any doubt!) that coral reef "health" studies that
ignore bioerosion are just plain useless. They also show that
eutrophication tips reefs over into the destructive phase.

Holmes et al 2000 (Mar Poll Bull 40: 606-617) show how simple assays of
bioerosion can be used in reef surveys-in fact, this is methodology
that should be widely adopted.

None of this work is ever cited by top-down advocates.

If you wish, I can send you copies of these and other related papers.
If you would like to access the nucleus of what remains of our marine
science project in Indonesia, contact Ocky Radjasa or Agus Sabdono, at


On Wed, 18 Jun 2008 11:28:37 -0700
 "Imam Bachtiar" <ibachtiar at telkom.net> wrote:
> Dear all,
> Herbivory is thought to be a key process in coral reef resilience.
> Several
> 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
> location
> 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
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> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
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Mike Risk
Marine Ecologist
PO Box 1195
Durham Ontario
N0G 1R0

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