[Coral-List] fish and algae

Eugene Shinn eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu
Wed Feb 19 11:32:26 EST 2014

I agree with Fenner, Too much fiddling with statistical methods and 
modeling and not enough observation. And, its not just coral reefs... 
What appears to be overemphasis on statistically proving what the eye 
can see is pervasive in almost all natural sciences. Poor Darwin. He 
probably could not publish his Origin of Species today. It is all 
anecdotal observations and drawings but eloquently done. So here is an 
observation that relates to fish effects on coral. It was an 
exceptionally calm day when we were taking small cores of M. annularis 
at Looe Key reef to examine the internal record of the bleaching that 
had occurred there many years earlier in 1967. We noticed that many  of 
the large heads supported small piles of carbonate sand. A little 
observation revealed that it was Parrot fish droppings. On a normal day 
the sandy poop  would have been quickly removed by wave action but on 
this day the poop remained for an hour or more. There  were also 
numerous scars from Parrot fish bites. I always wondered what the long 
term effects might be. Has anyone made long term observations of certain 
coral heads to see what Parrot fish poop does to the corals? The guts of 
fish are known to contain/Serratia marcescens/. Gene


No Rocks, No Water, No Ecosystem (EAS)
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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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