[Coral-List] Lion fish question

BRUCE CARLSON exallias2 at gmail.com
Wed Apr 17 17:04:25 EDT 2013


I know there are a number of papers dealing with the issue you have raised, but here are two that I have handy that shed light on this topic:

Grubich, J.R. et al.  2009.  Diversity of lionfishes (Pisces: Scorpaenidae) among remote coral reefs of the Palau Archipelago.  Coral Reefs 28:807
This brief paper gives an indication of the magnitude of difference in the numbers of Pterois species per hectare on a Pacific reef versus Western Atlantic areas.  


Green, Stephanie J., et al.  2012.  Invasive lionfish drive Atlantic coral reef fish declines.  PLoS ONE 7(3):  e32596.  doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0032596
This paper provides documentation on how West Atlantic reef fish populations have been affected by Pterois predation.  

Hope this helps with your question.


On Apr 17, 2013, at 8:15 AM, Steve Mussman <sealab at earthlink.net> wrote:

>   This story is among many that has appeared recently in the main stream
>   media. It compares the impact
>   of lion fish to "a living oil spill".
>   http://www.npr.org/2013/04/17/177359109/lionfish-attack-the-gulf-of-mexico-l
>   ike-a-living-oil-spill
>   My  question  is  what  scientific evidence is there that reduced fish
>   populations and / or reef decline
>   is directly related to the lion fish invasion?
>   Is it possible that lion fish are in fact becoming a convenient scapegoat?
>   I realize that they are likely contributing to the problem, but are we
>   overlooking other more prominent factors?
>   Natural predatory behavior seems to be developing as some reef species are
>   learning to feed on lion fish.
>   As far as I know reef fish are still abundant on the Pacific reefs where
>   lion fish are indigenous even though
>   they have few known predators in their natural surroundings.
>   I just returned from a Caribbean destination where it appeared obvious based
>   on my personal baseline that
>   the reefs are in decline. There were many lion fish spotted and speared, but
>   do we really know if the impact
>   of this invasive species is as profound as many are asserting?
>   Regards,
>    Steve
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exallias2 at gmail.com
BCarlson at GeorgiaAquarium.org

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