[Coral-List] Request for comment on recent report on coral loss and, population density for Guardian article

Eugene Shinn eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu
Thu Jul 28 14:26:41 EDT 2016

Jonny Langenheim asks for comments on the paper by Bruno and
Valdivia. Their paper, using an outrageous abundance of statistical data,
simply concludes what many of us long-term coral reef researchers have been observing
for many years. Seismic profiles and C14 age dating of reef cores taken by USGS
researchers show that thickness of coral accumulation during the past 6,000
years of submergence along the so-called Florida reef tract is for the most
part no more than 1 to 2 meters. Many kilometers of this reef tract in fact
have accreted zero coral cover over the underlying Pleistocene limestone. Most
divers who swim over these irregular bottom areas with their abundant sponges
and gorgonians do not realize they are not seeing a true coral reef. Plotted
against known sea level rise rates during the past 6,000-year period of time even
the slowest growing corals should have kept pace with rising sea level rise.
Obviously they did not. One can hardly argue that people were the problem prior
to the late 1970s and early 1980s when Acroporid corals became diseased and
began dying over most if the Caribbean. The papers title, “Coral reef
degradation is not correlated with local human population density,”is correct for
most of the Florida Keys reefs. 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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