[Coral-List] Objective Science

Esther Peters estherpeters at verizon.net
Sat Feb 11 12:49:01 EST 2012

Rudy, I have to quibble with your admonition "Lets not put these threats 
under a microscope, we have to focus on the big picture." I understand 
why you said this as a figure of speech, but I did want to point out 
that unless we literally examine corals microscopically, we are not 
going to see what is really going on that will lead us to an improved 
interpretation of the big picture! This is especially true in 
physiological, biochemical, microbiological, and molecular research. The 
visual record provided when using histopathological techniques gives 
details that we may be missing and see other factors that might have led 
to the results obtained. Histopathology cannot answer all of our 
questions--we'll still need those other techniques to identify the type 
of bacteria, compare rates of photosynthesis and calcification, or 
detect pesticides in tissues, for example--but there may be other things 
going on that were not measured during field sample collection or a 
laboratory experiment that microscopic study would reveal and that could 
also adversely affect calcification. I know Alina appreciates that.

Esther Peters, Ph.D.
Department of Environmental Science & Policy
George Mason University

On 2/10/2012 1:26 PM, Rudy Bonn wrote:
> Might as well put my two cents in,and I must agree with Dr. Fabricus that it is well known that threats to coral reef ecosytems are from a combination of threats working in synergisim to bring about the declines we are now witnessing, not only thermal stress and increased hydrogen ion concentration but many other factors are involved here as well-- OA being a recent contributor.  We must not forget that pollution, water quality decline, sedimentation, overfishing, apex predator removal, among others such as diseases that have been linked to bacteria found in the human intestinal tract, are killing corals.  I also believe that the rapid pace of these threats is overwhelming many coral species in terms of adaptation.  Lets not put these threats under a microscope, we have to focus on the big picture.  Incidentally, I spoke to a commercial fisherman the other day and he told me that he has never seen water temperatures this high ( ~ 75 to 78 F) in
>   February in the Keys.    Cheers,  Rudy 
> Rudy S Bonn
> Director of Marine Projects
> Reef Relief
> 631 Greene Street
> Key West, FL 33040
> 305-294-3100
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