[Coral-List] Acidification & Boring Erosion

andrew ross andyroo_of72 at yahoo.com
Fri Dec 7 11:21:36 EST 2012

With discussion about acidification related reef erosion is there an elephant in the room in boring organisms? Admittedly my experience is primarily in very broken systems, but for me it's common to be able to tear chunks of hard reef away with my hands. When I look inside the hole I've made I see little but sponge, plus scrambling cryptic beasties. This has been my observation in obviously "enriched" locations like Montego Bay (Jamaica) and on less obvious sites such as St. Mary to the East, where our recent visitor Hurricane Sandy demonstrated the issue on a much larger and messier scale. I found this condition particularly notable when I could not break bits off at the more remote Pedro Banks this past spring. 

Can we expect that boring erosion be increased under a reduced ocean pH? Can we expect this to occur additively, or might these processes work in synergy?

Should this be part of our climate change adaptation planning?

Andrew Ross
UWI (Mona)

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