[Coral-List] 82 coral species listing

Gene Shinn eshinn at marine.usf.edu
Tue Jul 10 15:21:35 EDT 2012

I am sitting on my boat in Marathon Florida Having just completed 
photographing my two main serial photography sites. One at Carysfort 
reef and one at Grecian rocks reef. The series is now 52 years in 
length. You can view the first 50 years of this series at the USGS 
What does the series show? The advent of coral diseases in the late 
1970s and the demise of Acropora cervicornis that culminated in 1983 
throughout the Caribbean. Decline due to bleaching and disease has 
continued to the present.  At both study sites which were once lush 
there is no longer any A. cervicornis. I found one small sickly 
colony about the size of a grapefruit at Grecian Rocks. I have to ask 
the question. Had Acropora been listed back in 1984 when it was 
apparent to all that the species was in a spiraling decline would it 
be flourishing today? The answer of course is  clearly no!  Staghorn 
(A. cervicornis) does grow exceptionally well suspended on lines in 
the water column. The question remains, will it grow on the bottom 
where corals normally grow. It would be interesting to see if these 
corals would grow if  transplanted to Carysfort and Grecian which 
were once the premier sites for these species. Any volunteers? 
Possibly the Center for Biodiversity should  fund such a study. Gene

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