[Coral-List] Follow live our expedition to a fossil reef in the Dominican Republic

Eugene Shinn eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu
Fri Mar 18 10:19:36 EDT 2016

I also look forward to following  the live, "Baseline Caribbean." fossil 
reef expedition. Visiting those fossil Holocene reefs sites with Dennis 
Hubbard a few years ago was a game changer for me. Up to that time I 
though I knew what corals required for growth. Viewing that area will 
convince most any coral biology traveler how little we really know about 
what corals require to thrive.
I am assuming that the reefs your team will study are those along the 
north flank of what is now lake Enriquillo, If so those are the 7ka 
reefs I visited with Hubbard. As you know those fringing reefs died and 
became exposed when the mouth of narrow blind end lagoon was closed off 
by sedimentation, The saline lagoon became the lake that apparently is 
still drying up.
As you know these fossil reefs are extremely rich in coral and typical 
Caribbean reef life. Clearly there was little if any human activity in 
the area 7ka that would have influenced their growth. In some places 
there are 40-50 foot high reef outcrops composed entirely of in-situ /A. 
cervicornis/. The big surprise is that these extremely rich Holocene 
reefs were able to flourish in what was a narrow blind end embayment 
that periodically received sand and silt runoff from the surrounding 
mountains. I doubt any coral reef biologist could have predicted coral 
reefs  could survive and thrive under the conditions that must have 
existed in such a long narrow lagoon with a single opening. It is a 
truly a unique place to see and learn how little we understand about 
what corals require to flourish. I wish the organizers luck and look 
forward to your findings.  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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