[Coral-List] An extensive reef system at the Amazon River mouth

Douglas Fenner douglasfennertassi at gmail.com
Thu Apr 28 04:43:47 EDT 2016

     I would add that oil industry equipment has been implicated in the
introduction of two invasive corals, both in genus Tubastraea, to Brazil,
where they have been documented to be expanding rapidly and to be
displacing native fauna as they take space on substrates.  The Wanless and
Yeo articles below indicate that many other organisms are transported on
some oil rigs besides corals.
     Then there are oil spills, perhaps the BP Deepwater Horizon being the
most famous recent event.
     Cheers,  Doug

Some references:

De Paula, A.F., Creed, J.C., 2004. Two species of the coral *Tubastraea*
(Cnidaria, Scleractinia) in Brazil: a case of accidental introduction.
Bulletin of Marine Science 74, 175-183.

Lages, B.G., Fleury, B.G., Menegola, C., Creed, J.C., 2011. Change in
tropical rocky shore communities due to an alien coral invasion. Marine
Ecology Progress Series 438, 85-96.

Mantelatto, M., Creed, J., Mourão, G., Migotto, A., Lindner, A., 2011.
Range expansion of the invasive corals Tubastraea coccinea and Tubastraea
tagusensis in the Southwest Atlantic. Coral Reefs 30, 397-397.

Mantelatto, M.C., Creed, J.C., 2014. Non-indigenous sun corals invade
mussel beds in Brazil. Marine Biodiversity, 1-2.

Riul, P., Targino, C.H., Júnior, L.A.C., Creed, J.C., Horta, P.A., Costa,
G.C., 2013. Invasive potential of the coral Tubastraea coccinea in the
southwest Atlantic. Marine Ecology Progress Series 480, 73-81.

Silva, A.G.d., Paula, A.F.d., Fleury, B.G., Creed, J.C., 2014. Eleven years
of range expansion of two invasive corals (Tubastraea coccinea and
Tubastraea tagusensis) through the southwest Atlantic (Brazil). Estuarine,
Coastal and Shelf Science 141, 9-16.

Wanless, R., Scott, S., Sauer, W.H., Andrew, T., Glass, J., Godfrey, B.,
Griffiths, C., Yeld, E., 2010. Semi-submersible rigs: a vector transporting
entire marine communities around the world. Biological Invasions 12,

Yeo, D.C.J., Ahyong, S.T., Lodge, D.M., Ng, P.K.L., Naruse, T., Lane,
D.J.W., 2009. Semisubmersible oil platforms: understudied and potentially
major vectors of biofouling-mediated invasions. Biofouling 26, 179-186.

On Tue, Apr 26, 2016 at 10:32 AM, Rodrigo Leão de Moura <
moura.uesc at gmail.com> wrote:

> Professor Shinn, I appreciate your wise comments about the long term
> resilience of reefs and the large scale of our ignorance about these
> ancient and fascinating ecosystems. However, I would like to add that the
> concerns with oil & gas drilling expressed in "The Atlantic" article and in
> our paper go beyond the immediate impacts from local damage from drilling
> itself. Brazil's response capabilities to oil spills and mining disasters
> are very limited, and we are currently haunted by large scale contamination
> of drainages and coastal ecosystems, including our unique Abrolhos reef
> system (www.abrolhos.org). As you are probably aware, despite our
> economy's
> size, Brazil's democracy is not as stable as it should be, institutions are
> overall weak, and environmental agencies have very limited reach. If an
> accident occurs in the very dynamic Amazon shelf, we might take several
> months before starting to respond appropriately. There is a rush towards
> hydrocarbons in the Amazon shelf, including expensive and high-risk
> deep-water drilling, and it is expected that compatible investments on
> research, conservation, and environmental management (e.g. fisheries) are
> also made. It is indeed surprising that the Amazon reefs were not
> considered in previous EIAs from oil companies...  From my humble
> perspective, another neglected issue in terms of the environmental and
> social impacts of oil & gas exploitation is the sudden flow of millions of
> dollars in regions that suffer from extreme poverty and endemic corruption.
> I strongly believe that well-informed pressures and a close watch from the
> international community, especially scientists, might help us change this
> sad status quo.
> Here are a few "references" to the points I am raising. Could fill several
> pages with evidence supporting my statements.
> Warm Regards, Rodrigo
> http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2015/12/seeking-answers-catastrophic-brazil-disaster-151224071626923.html
> http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/nov/25/brazils-mining-tragedy-dam-preventable-disaster-samarco-vale-bhp-billiton
> http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/09/business/international/effects-of-petrobras-scandal-leave-brazilians-lamenting-a-lost-dream.html?_r=0
> http://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2016/04/21/the-real-reason-behind-the-impeachment-of-brazils-president-dilma-rousseff/#2cfc1bf06759
> --
> *Rodrigo Leão de Moura, Dr.*
> Professor Adjunto, Instituto de Biologia
> Pesquisador Associado ao SAGE/COPPE
> Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro
> http://lattes.cnpq.br/8814217649491828
> http://www.abrolhos.org <http://www.mouralab.org/>
> http://www.mouralab.com
> cel: + 55 (21) 99609-2724        skype: r.moura
> 2016-04-26 15:38 GMT-03:00 Eugene Shinn <eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu>:
> > The rediscovery of a deep “reef” off the mouth of the Amazon is
> > certainly an exciting newsmaker that once again demonstrates how little
> > we really know about corals and their growth requirements. That there
> > are corals living there is not all that surprising. Any geologist who
> > has examined ancient reefs, whether built by corals or sponges, is aware
> > that many in the past grew in the presence of muddy sediment. From the
> > depths reported, (up to 125 meters), it seems clear the Brazilian reef
> > tract began growing during the last glaciation when global sea level was
> > approximately 125 m below present.The Amazon River at that time would
> > likely have been much different. If the flow was anything like today it
> > would probably have been focused through a narrow gap in the old reef
> > line before discharging into deep water. Detailed seismic mapping of the
> > area that most likely already exists, would reveal where that flow was
> > concentrated.
> >
> > Old shorelines consisting of beach dunes occur at similar depths around
> > much of the Gulf of Mexico as well as along the eastern seaboard off the
> > Florida Keys. It does not seem surprising that a rock ridge hosting many
> > reef organisms should exist off the Brazilian coast beneath the Amazon
> > mud plume. Ironically millions have been spent over the years on
> > research related to possible effects of drilling mud on live corals and
> > other bottom organisms near oil wells. Because of that concern
> > exploration drilling in the Gulf of Mexico is precluded from hard bottom
> > topographic accumulations created by natural oil and gas seepage. Such
> > features host a multitude of chemosynthetic organisms including
> > deep-water corals, worms, clams and crustaceans. I found it interesting
> > that the /Atlantic/ article ends with concern that oil exploration might
> > occur on this reef beneath the amazons mud plume. Gene
> >
> >
> http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/04/scientists-discover-a-new-coral-reef-at-the-amazons-mouth/479259/?utm_source=yahoo
> >
> >
> > --
> >
> >
> > 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 for NOAA NMFS, and consultant
"have regulator, will travel"
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