[Coral-List] Re : Coral Reef research needs

Martin Moe martin_moe at yahoo.com
Wed Oct 5 16:42:51 EDT 2011

Hi Laetitia,

Thanks for posting the information on the ARMS program. I
think that project provides very useful, scientifically valid information on
biodiversity changes that could not be acquired in any other way. What I had in
mind, however, was a series of basic surveys on a relatively small number of “indicator
species” that could be conducted frequently at an amateur level that would
provide at least an indication of change over time that could not be acquired by
an expensive scientific program. Of course the protocol would have to be developed by scientists who could identify what species would be most valuable to record and also establish the methodology for the surveys. I don’t know if it could be done or not, and
if so, whether the information would be useful or not, but in these days of
citizen scientist programs, An important offshoot of such a program would be to increase public awareness of the state of coral reefs and advance the idea that maybe something can be done to improve the condition of the reefs. I thought the concept was worth advancing.  

From: Laetitia Plaisance <lplaisance at yahoo.com>
To: Martin Moe <martin_moe at yahoo.com>; Coral List <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
Sent: Tuesday, October 4, 2011 4:48 PM
Subject: Re : [Coral-List] Coral Reef research needs

Dear Martin,

One of the core projects of The Census Of Marine Life, Census of Coral Reef Ecosystems was to develop a standardized, quantitative way to measure reef diversity so that the results can be compared across localities and through time. After many years of experimenting different designs, we started using Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures (ARMS) to sample reef diversity (mainly the cryptic fauna associated with coral reefs). You can find more information about the ARMS here: http://www.pifsc.noaa.gov/cred/arms.php
Processing these structures can be done either using morphology to count the number of species, or using molecular tools if access to a molecular lab is not a problem. The ARMS have proven to be very effective in detecting habitat differentiation and biogeographic patterns of biodiversity.
You can find more information in the following article: http://www.mdpi.com/1424-2818/3/4/581/ as well as an article to come the second week of October in the journal: PLoS.
I am not sure this is would be of any help for the purpose you mentioned but I thought it was worth pointing it out.

Best regards,


Laetitia Plaisance
Marine Ecologist - Coral Reef Biodiversity Specialist

Skype: laetitia.plaisance
Email: laetitia.plaisance at gmail.com

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De : Martin Moe <martin_moe at yahoo.com>
À : andrew ross <andyroo_of72 at yahoo.com>; Coral List <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
Envoyé le : Mardi 4 Octobre 2011 18h49
Objet : Re: [Coral-List] Coral Reef research needs

On important research needs… I think information on changing
biodiversity, for good or ill, is critical knowledge for assessing current
conditions and emerging biological and ecological trends on coral reefs,
especially for evaluation of management and restoration initiatives. The
expertize, time, effort and funding that goes into the exceptional work of the
Center for Marine Science and NOAA’s National Undersea Research Center is not
found in most coral reef areas. I wonder if it would be possible to design a
relatively simple protocol for determining the presence and density of a small
number of key organisms, taxonomic and/or ecological, that could be conducted
quickly by individuals, students for example, familiar but not necessarily on
an expert level with identification of coral reef organisms. The survey could
be done several times a year and would produce at least a snapshot of
change and rate of change of coral reef conditions. For example the survey could
consist of a count of few non-cryptic species that would produce a rough ecological
cross section of the life on the reef. It could be based taxonomically, 4
species of coral, , 4 algae, 4 sponges, 4 mollusks, 4 crustaceans, 4 echinoderms,
4 fish; or ecologically, such as 4 plants,  4 filter feeders, 4 calcifiers, 4 plants, 4
herbivores, 4 scavengers, 4 planktivores, and 4 predators. Photography would
enhance the value of the survey. This is very rough, meant only to convey the
germ of the concept, but it may allow development of a better understanding of
how some reefs are changing over time that otherwise would not be known,
especially in areas not frequently subject to scientific surveys.. Perhaps it
already exists, REEF does a good job with fish, but if does exist, I’m not
aware of it.

From: andrew ross <andyroo_of72 at yahoo.com>
To: Coral List <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
Sent: Friday, September 30, 2011 10:23 AM
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Coral Reef research needs

Julian, Arianna and all,
I'd like to see more work on the hydrology of the coral reef- the hows and whys of coastal protection, beach accretion and boundary layers. Acropora palmata shallows of the Caribbean must block waves very differently than a stone groyne, for example. There is plenty of info & modelling on the engineered stones, but little on the natural perforated coral structures. Unfortunately these coral systems have been essentially missing for 20+ years, largely predating the computers the
 models are built around. This speaks to connectivity, restoration/rehab, value and sea level rise.
Andrew Ross

From: arianna bucci <ariannabucci at yahoo.it>
To: "Julian @ Reefcheck Malaysia" <julian at reefcheck.org.my>; "Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa..gov" <Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
Sent: Thursday, September 29, 2011 9:01 PM
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Coral Reef research needs

Dear Julian

I hope that when you talk about "connectivity" you are also referring to connectivity between different,
 interconnected habitats to achieve a comprehensive and integrated understanding of the fluxes of materials and energy flow. In this context, I would strongly suggest you to put in your list the study of coral reefs as a part of a system, including the adjacent watersheds, coastal systems, littoral fringe and the adjacent oceanic watermasses. 

Best regards, 
Arianna Bucci, PhD
Centre d'Estudis Avançats de Blanes (CSIC), Spain; Visiting Researche Fellow, University of Malaya, Malaysia  

Da: "Julian @ Reefcheck Malaysia" <julian at reefcheck.org.my>
A: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Inviato: Mercoledì 28 Settembre 2011 19:57
Oggetto: [Coral-List] Coral Reef research needs


If I were to put together a list of the most important research needs in
coral reef science and management, what should be on the list? What are the
most pressing or important areas that need to be looked at? In my ignorance,
some areas that stand out are: 

-          Resilience

-          Connectivity

-          Economics

-          Rehabilitation

-          Climate change/acidification.

But I am sure listers can improve greatly on this list. I would appreciate
your thoughts.

Thanks and regards,

Julian Hyde

General Manager

Reef Check Malaysia Bhd

03 2161 5948


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