[Coral-List] Acropora prolifera issues

Dennis Hubbard dennis.hubbard at oberlin.edu
Fri Sep 6 08:49:28 EDT 2013

Somewhere in my mountain of slides, I have photos of both A. prolifera and
A. cervicornis (based on visual character and not genetics)growing from the
corner of a healthy A. palmata. Any ideas on what this means?


On Thu, Sep 5, 2013 at 2:45 PM, Gregor Hodgson <gregorh at reefcheck.org>wrote:

> We are also seeing more Acropora prolifera in several areas of the
> Caribbean, however, a couple of caveats in interpreting the data.
> 1. While the species is Lamarck, 1816, and was included in taxonomic work
> such as Wood, EM 1983 Corals of the World TFH Publications, there was a lot
> of doubt if it could be a "valid" species during the 1970s ­ 80s, so it was
> not really recognized by many ecologists until at least the 1990s, was not
> even mentioned in field guides such as Kaplan, EH 1982 A field guide to
> coral reefs of the Caribbean and Florida. Houghton Mifflin, and not nailed
> down by multiple lines of genetic evidence until 2002 by Vollmer,  S.V. &
> Palumbi, S.R. Hybridization and the evolution of reef coral  diversity.
> Science 296, 2023-2025 (June 14, 2002).
> <
> http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov:80/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&lis
> t_uids=12065836&dopt=Abstract>  so many probably ignored it in prior field
> studies.
> 2. Prior to the collapse of Acropora in the Caribbean during the 1980s,
> there was so much Acropora on reefs (often occupying 50% of the reef, that
> the hybrid species could have easily been missed/ignored by accident.
> 3. Relatively speaking we are still seeing more cervicornis and palmata
> than
> prolifera in places like Haiti and Cuba which have served as refuges for
> Acropora during the meltdown. (One wonders if the lack of 2-stroke engines
> and sunscreen in these two countries have helped?) Sunscreens Cause Coral
> Bleaching by Promoting Viral Infections
> <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2291018/>
> 4. Roberto Danovaro, Lucia Bongiorni, Cinzia Corinaldesi, Donato
> Giovannelli, Elisabetta Damiani, Paola Astolfi, Lucedio Greci, Antonio
> Pusceddu
> 5. Environ Health Perspect. 2008 April; 116(4): 441­447. Published online
> 2008 January 3. doi: 10.1289/ehp.10966
> Gregor Hodgson, PhD
> Executive Director
> Reef Check Foundation
> PO Box 1057 (mail)
> 17575 Pacific Coast Highway (overnight)
> Pacific Palisades, CA 90272 USA
> T: +1 310-230-2371 or 2360
> Gregorh at reefcheck.org
> Skype: gregorh001
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Dennis Hubbard
Chair, Dept of Geology-Oberlin College Oberlin OH 44074
(440) 775-8346

* "When you get on the wrong train.... every stop is the wrong stop"*
 Benjamin Stein: "*Ludes, A Ballad of the Drug and the Dream*"

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