[Coral-List] Prioritizing impacts to coral reefs

Douglas Fenner douglasfennertassi at gmail.com
Sat Apr 19 06:51:54 EDT 2014

I was with you right up to the last 2 sentences, Gene.  The fact that
a particular area of hardground didn't develop a reef in the last 6000
years, doesn't mean that a lot of things that people do that impact
reefs have not been correctly identified.  I agree that there is much
left for us to learn, but I agree based on the fact that the journals
are full of fascinating new findings, not because the geology of reefs
continues to have some puzzles in it.  Not surprising, every area of
science has puzzles remaining in it.  Doesn't mean that an enormous
amount hasn't already been correctly learned.  There is an enormous
literature documenting all sorts of ways in which humans have harmed
the environment, from dumping toxic chemicals to plowing prairies to
clearcutting forests, to driving species to extinction, to acid rain
to the ozone hole.  Some large problems like the ozone hole and acid
rain have had their causes correctly identified and solutions put in
place.  There is a long list of environmental problems that have been
correctly identified and corrective actions taken.
   Cheers,  Doug

On 4/18/14, Eugene Shinn <eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu> wrote:
> Les Kaufman has it right about rugosity. During my college days in the
> 1950s several of us essentially made a living spearing fish in the
> Florida Keys. We speared mainly groupers and hog fish. I now know after
> years of geological research that the areas that produced the most fish
> was mainly exposed Pleistocene limestone (Pleistocene coral reef). It
> looked like a reef to us because it had rugosity, ledges, and there were
> the usual sea fans, sponges and ocassional large coral head. It took
> coring and high resolution seismic surveys to reveal that where the meat
> fish were was simply hard ground communities. We stayed away from the
> isolated highly rugose photographically beautiful live reefs. Although
> most are dead now those areas were populated mainly by colorful tropical
> fish and baracuda. Large groupers can't negotiate their way through a
> staghorn thicket very well. It remains an unsolved mystery why most of
> that 150 mile stretch of limestone (where the big fish were) did not
> develop a living reef after  6,000 years under clear water adjacent to
> the Gulfstream.  Prioritizing the causes of reef demise in light of such
> geologic history seems difficult and fraught with incorrect leads. I
> think we still have a lot to learn. Gene
> --
> No Rocks, No Water, No Ecosystem (EAS)
> ------------------------------------ -----------------------------------
> E. A. Shinn, Courtesy Professor
> University of South Florida
> College of Marine Science Room 221A
> 140 Seventh Avenue South
> St. Petersburg, FL 33701
> <eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu>
> Tel 727 553-1158
> ---------------------------------- -----------------------------------
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Douglas Fenner
Contractor with Ocean Associates, Inc.
PO Box 7390
Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799  USA

phone 1 684 622-7084

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