[Coral-List] Lion fish question

BRUCE CARLSON exallias2 at gmail.com
Mon Apr 22 12:57:30 EDT 2013


I do not have answers to your questions, but I do want to point out that population control of reef fishes can occur at any stage in the life cycle.  In fact, it's entirely possible that predation on lionfish eggs or larval lionfish is more effective at controlling the population than predation on adults.  You might expand your question to ask whether or not there are differences in species that feed on fish eggs and larvae between Atlantic and Indo-Pacific reefs.  

A single female lionfish can produce millions of eggs in her lifetime.  Even a small change in the percentage of eggs and larvae that survive predation can have a huge effect later on adult numbers.  

My point, again, is that attention needs to be focused on all aspects of the life cycle when it comes to population control.  


exallias2 at gmail.com
BCarlson at GeorgiaAquarium.org

On Apr 20, 2013, at 9:37 AM, Steve Mussman <sealab at earthlink.net> wrote:

>   Pardon the redundancy, but I feel compelled to follow up in the hope that
>   some listers might consider alternative hypotheticals. Iâll keep it brief.
>     * Is  it  possible  that a primary factor related to the density and
>       proliferation of lion fish populations throughout the Caribbean {when
>       compared  to  native  ranges}  might  be  the relative scarcity of
>       higher-level,  larger  predatory fish such as sharks, grouper, and
>       snapper?
>     * Has anyone compared the relative total biomass of higher-level predators
>       on the Caribbean reefs where lion fish are now found with that of the
>       native Indo-Pacific ranges where anomalous controls are not required?
>     * Is it reasonable to at least theorize that the best case scenario for
>       effectively keeping invasive lion fish populations in check would be one
>       that encompasses a strategy for overall coral reef recovery including
>       the  related re-emergence of a greater number of potential natural
>       predators?
>     * In the spirit of full disclosure, I raise these questions because it
>       appears to me as if many in my industry are deluding themselves by
>       focusing reef conservation efforts on this particular issue. Its good
>       for business and thatâs a positive, but there needs to be an awareness
>       that the implementation of currently advocated mitigation strategies
>       will not miraculously  restore once healthy coral reef ecosystems. In
>       the end we canât continue to ignore the eight-hundred-pound gorilla
>       sitting squarely upon the Acropora palmata.
>      Regards,
>       Steve
>   www.sea-lab.com
>   http://www.news-press.com/article/20120514/GREEN/305140006/Are-predators-eat
>   ing-lionfish-
>   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pazS-13gzVE&feature=youtu.be
>   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Hkan5JHUA0
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