[Coral-List] Reef Habitat Monitoring

John McManus jmcmanus at rsmas.miami.edu
Fri Dec 13 14:33:19 EST 2013

It seems to me that the only water quality issues in which it is currently
practical to intervene on large scales are nutrients, sediments, trash
(plastic bags, fishing gear, etc.) and toxins -- mostly via proper watershed
and fisheries management. The range of potential toxins is quite large
(caffeine, estrogen, oils, various medications, pesticides, heavy metals,

If one wants to do early warning for issues associated with climate change,
then temperature, pH, storm wave height, etc. would be useful, especially if
selected according to the input requirements of particular models. These
factors are also useful for understanding analytically 'what happened' when
we see particular problems, such as bleaching, disease, or (most frequently)
death of benthos or fish from unknown causes. However, they help with
intervention only indirectly.

There are recent advances in in-situ nutrient monitoring. For an X-Prize,
one could improve those, and go after the more difficult issue of monitoring
anthropogenic toxins.  

Hope that helps get things started...


-----Original Message-----
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
[mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Steve LeGore
Sent: Friday, December 13, 2013 12:44 PM
To: Coral Listserve
Subject: [Coral-List] Reef Habitat Monitoring

   Hello All,

   I would like to posit a notion concerning monitoring of coral reef
   if you all will tolerate this exercise.  For conjecture, if limitations
   technology or financial resources were miraculously not at issue, what
   quality  and  physical  environment  parameters  would  we like to see
   continuously  monitored  in these habitats.  Example potential uses of
   monitoring might be to create early warning opportunities for
   reef areas requiring intervention [leaving aside the issue that most do,
   we all appreciate], for identifying areas where reef creation/rebuilding
   might be most feasible, and similar or related issues.

   Obvious parameters include pH, salinity, water temperature, P & N
   suspended  solids,  water  depths  and  tidal ranges, hydrographic and
   wind-driven currents.  Are there others that our coral reef experts
   important, such as, perhaps, specific calcium ions or compounds, heavy
   metals, chlorophyll (as a potential measure of algal overgrowth?).  What
   would the ideal monitoring program consist of if 24/7 monitoring devices
   were available?

   I am wondering what the parameter list would look like if this were the
   subject of an X-Prize.  Is anyone interested enough to participate in
such a

   Steve LeGore
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