[Coral-List] Status of Tubastraea corals on GOM oil rigs?

Colin Foord colin.foord at gmail.com
Fri Jun 18 12:05:17 EDT 2010

I am curious to know if any researchers have explored the marine life
communities associated with the other oil rigs in the area of the oil
spill.  I understand that the invasive *Tubastraea coccinea* (Orange Cup
Coral) is one of the dominant colonizers upon these oil rigs from below the
surface down to at least 20m.  It seems that the health of these corals in
the wake of the oil spill would provide an interesting (and simple) study.
Clearly these are opportunistic and hardy corals, but they are the closest
species to our tropical reef building corals that can be studied within the
vicinity of the oil slicks. They are non-photosynthetic, so bleaching won't
be an indicator of chemical stress.  Being an invasive coral species on
artificial substrate over a significant vertical depth profile, they seem to
be the perfect guinea pigs for our understanding of oil tolerance by a

Looking forward to your observations,
Colin Foord

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