[Coral-List] Fwd: How can we "bleach proof" transplanted coral nurseries?

Damien Beri beridl at g.cofc.edu
Sat Aug 26 17:56:28 EDT 2017


Thanks for your input.  It is very logical to assume "active coral restoration" at a small scale will not match up to current decline's.  I can also see various problems arising from un-controlled harvesting of fragments from wild colonies as it's extremely possible that this can cause more harm then good.  

Many current restoration gurus will tell you they have tried planting in certain locations with little to no success.  However, errors made then only result in greater success down road. 

I encourage you to look at the social media images of all the Caribbean coral restoration organizations from the past few weeks.  You will see millions and millions of eggs being released into the water and collected by said nurseries.  It's magical and lightens my spirit every time I think about it.


Sent from my iPhone

> On Aug 26, 2017, at 1:59 PM, Nohora Galvis <icri.colombia at gmail.com> wrote:
> I agree with Scott "From 'bigger global picture' perspective - I
> actually have serious ethical
> doubts as to the merit of spending millions of research dollars on
> coral restoration (the scale problem, restored areas of a few 100m2
> versus loss of coral reefs ecosystem - 1000km2)".
> About Damien´s idea of happiness: "active coral restoration", the
> human conscious as a whole NEEDs to see how scientists support the
> relevance of improving actively coral reef conservation effectiveness.
> Nevertheless as the trend for securing employement of coral reef
> researchers leads them to enroll in the vacancies between coral
> farming and reef restoration projects based on breaking healthy coral
> colonies to paste pieces some place else... I think these humans will
> be more happy if successful in farming different species of corals,
> fishes and all the other species (aprox one million of a natural coral
> reef) to recover its coral reef integrity not just to build artificial
> reefs of few coral species.
> Remember that in the 90´s still was prohibited to break coral colonies
> for ecological reasons. Nowadays with the low healthy coral cover in
> most of the coral reefs, desperation leads to promote amateur massive
> breaking and pasting coral colonies of one or two species to spend the
> money of petroleum companies or other developers justidying that
> "their activites are OK in coral reef areas".
> Besides at ICRS at Bali 2000, talking about coral reef species farming
> was not very ecologically acceptable when there were some scientists
> promoting growing and releasing into the wild. Now has become " a
> NEED". I understand that currently creditable labs are investing in
> genetic manipulations of few coral-microalgal species to improve
> suvirvoship restoration since 60% as the max. it is still very low.
> The positive and negative impacts of both kind of projects should be
> evaluated and monitored. Let´s hope that in the near future the
> original colonies that have been used to break pieces of colonies to
> paste them some place else still survived and the massive active
> restoration activity do not become another local anthropogenic threat
> (e.g. sewage, dredging, overfishing, etc) and those and the global
> threats finally be controlled with the support of an empowered
> scientific coomunity based on their principles !!!
> All the best,
> 2017-08-24 18:47 GMT-05:00, Damien Beri <beridl at g.cofc.edu>:
>> Scott,
>> That is a very good idea, utilizing the dead coral substrate which holds
>> algae to filter surrounding water and grow corals with optimal symbionts
>> densities.  Essentially, dead coral is the substrate for macro algal
>> growth.
>> You are also very right on protein, if the world was vegan we would not be
>> having this conversation! However some places people are too poor to afford
>> food and still consume dog meat.  The agriculture industry and our tastebuds
>> have too much control to fix this issue in the United States for example.
>> McDonald's employe's 1.5 million people for a stat.
>> On the topic of coral restoration, i believe the human conscious as a whole
>> NEEDs active coral restoration to be happy.  Humans who do not study coral
>> must directly see that humans can possibly undo the damage that we have
>> created.  If people cannot directly see that we can control certain aspects
>> of coral reefs then they will not listen/believe we can alter them for the
>> better in other, non-direct ways.
>> The loss of coral reefs is a gravity problem, sadly 2100 will be a
>> radically different time.  We need Active Coral Restoration to be the
>> celebrity face for ocean restoration.
>> "One of the most delicate organism in the world, and we can breed it, alter
>> its symbionts, and spread it throughout oceans employing fisherman, and
>> growing food sources for them!"
>> ^Humans need to know it's possible, and not science fiction or a biologists
>> dreams
>> -Damien
>> Sent from my iPhone
>>> On Aug 24, 2017, at 7:03 PM, Scott Wooldridge <swooldri23 at gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>> Thanks Damien,
>>> All very relevant points!
>>> I don't pretend to have the answers.
>>> What of transplanting/growing the corals into already established (wild)
>>> seaweed beds that have space-invaded inshore areas where corals have died
>>> from bleaching (or otherwise)? - so called phase-shifted (algal dominated)
>>> locations. Make use of the natural (seemingly from human eyes) 'bad'
>>> situation.
>>> From 'bigger global picture' perspective - i actually have serious ethical
>>> doubts as to the merit of spending millions of research dollars on coral
>>> restoration (the scale problem, restored areas of a few 100m2 versus loss
>>> of coral reefs ecosystem - 1000km2)
>>> Unless someone can convince me otherwise, i think research funding is
>>> better directed towards
>>> developing new sources of harvestable protein. Pessimistic yes - but i
>>> worry about the social upheaval in areas like the coral triangle that
>>> awaits as corals ecosystem continue to collapse and fish stocks plummet.
>>> Establishing community-size projects that develop sustainable protein
>>> (e.g.. sea cucumbers?) are probably of much much greater important at this
>>> late stage in events.
>>> scott
>>> https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Scott_Wooldridge
>>> scott
>>>> On Fri, Aug 25, 2017 at 6:01 AM, Damien Beri <beridl at g.cofc.edu> wrote:
>>>> Scott,
>>>> Most of the algae used in the aquarium industry have the potential to
>>>> become some serious exotic species. Example: chaeto, caulerpa.  And some
>>>> macro algae have more preference for different nutrients.  One article
>>>> based on Ulva and Chaeto in Peel inlet Australia showed that ulva uptakes
>>>> way more N than P whereas the opposite is with chaeto.  In this case a
>>>> combination of the two would correct for excess runoff, however the two
>>>> compete for light and chaeto always wins.
>>>> Also, when used in aquariums the algae is ALWAYs separated by physical
>>>> barrier because of the ability for it to spread and smother corals, clog
>>>> pumps, and flood your home.  Some coral nurseries have shown bundles of
>>>> chaeto smothering outplanted corals which would be the equivalent to the
>>>> hazards of placing macro into the main display of an aquarium.
>>>> When macro algae competes against itself, self shadowing has the
>>>> potential to release deleterious compounds into the water as the bottom
>>>> layers of macro decay.
>>>> Lower water flow caused by dense macro algae mats also causes
>>>> Cyanobacteria outbreaks, fungal, and bacterial outbreaks as a result.  It
>>>> must be pruned.
>>>> I do believe there should be massive turf scrubbers at every single
>>>> outlet of every single runoff near coral reefs, the key is to figure out
>>>> how to work with the existing macro algae present, or even the
>>>> phytoplankton present as growing phytoplankton to feed corals converts N
>>>> and P to coral biomass.
>>>> Some aquarists use dosing mechanisms to take water out of the aquarium
>>>> and fill a phyto culture which absorbs N and P and then dose the phyto
>>>> right back into the tank to feed corals.  You consume N and P through
>>>> growing phyto from aquarium water then dose the live home grown phyto
>>>> back into the aquarium.
>>>> There are also products which provide us state for fungus to grow called
>>>> "Algon" which readily consumes N and releases a smelly sulfur gas.  It's
>>>> probably got bacteria in there too.
>>>> Also, if a refigium is your main nutrient export in aquaria, it has to be
>>>> at least 20% of the aquarium volume to work effectively.
>>>> -Damien
>>>> Sent from my iPhone
>>>>> On Aug 23, 2017, at 11:35 PM, Scott Wooldridge <swooldri23 at gmail.com>
>>>>> wrote:
>>>>> Sorry, it was remiss of me not to also include mention of an excellent
>>>>> experiment by Ted McConnaughey (2000) in which he meticulously measured
>>>>> (in
>>>>> a aquaria setting) the beneficial impact of non-calcareous algae in
>>>>> promoting coral health under modern ocean conditions.
>>>>> https://www.researchgate.net/publication/319255771_Community_and_environmental_influences_on_reef_coral_calcificationphotosynthesis
>>>>> In the experiment, he showed that the noncalcareous alga Chondria
>>>>> sp.reduced molecular seawater CO2 concentrations by 73%, which caused
>>>>> photosynthesis and calcification rates to increase (>2-fold) in
>>>>> co-located
>>>>> Acropora and Montipora colonies. By inference, i suggest this would
>>>>> also be
>>>>> manifest as increased bleaching resistance - but lets test it.
>>>>> Great, great experiment with loads of details for designing and
>>>>> monitoring
>>>>> an upscaled field experiment of a similar ilk. I have the greatest of
>>>>> respect for the research and ideas of Ted.
>>>>> scott
>>>>> https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Scott_Wooldridge
>>>>> cited literature
>>>>> McConnaughey (2000) Community and environmental influences on reef
>>>>> coral
>>>>> calcification. Limnology and Oceanography 45:1667-1671.
>>>>> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>>>>> From: Scott Wooldridge <swooldri23 at gmail.com>
>>>>> Date: Thu, Aug 24, 2017 at 12:04 PM
>>>>> Subject: How can we "bleach proof" transplanted coral nurseries?
>>>>> To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>>>>> Dear fellow coral researchers,
>>>>> I have received numerous emails asking to suggest possible ways that we
>>>>> may
>>>>> be able to enhance the thermal bleaching resistance of transplanted
>>>>> corals
>>>>> - if as i suggest, intracellular CO2-limitation of the endosymbiont
>>>>> phyotosynthetic machinery is the underpinning mechanism.
>>>>> Just drawing quickly attention back to the following manuscripts:
>>>>> https://www.researchgate.net/publication/308746785_Excess_
>>>>> seawater_nutrients_enlarged_algal_symbiont_densities_and_
>>>>> bleaching_sensitive_reef_locations_1_Identifying_
>>>>> thresholds_of_concern_for_the_Great_Barrier_Reef_Australia
>>>>> https://www.researchgate.net/publication/317100418_
>>>>> Instability_and_breakdown_of_the_coral-algae_symbiosis_
>>>>> upon_exceedence_of_the_interglacial_pCO2_threshold_
>>>>> 260_ppmv_the_%27%27missing%27%27_Earth-System_feedback_mechanism
>>>>> It is clear, that the biological challenge is to keep endosymbiont
>>>>> (symbiodinium) levels at optimal levels (~1.5 x10^6 cells.cm2 host
>>>>> tissue
>>>>> in branching corals). Two factors in combination promote 'excess'
>>>>> densities
>>>>> - elevated pCO2 and dissolved inorganic nutrients (principally
>>>>> nitrogen)
>>>>> concentrations.
>>>>> Thus, the bioengineering challenge is also clear. We need to lower pCO2
>>>>> and
>>>>> DIN in the immediate vicinity of transplanted corals (or coral reefs
>>>>> in
>>>>> general).
>>>>> In my opinion (and being a pessimist/realist? in my belief that
>>>>> governmental institutions have the political will to reduce pCO2 or
>>>>> DIN
>>>>> runoff to the levels required for a stable coral symbiosis) the only
>>>>> hope
>>>>> we have is to investigate the beneficial role that co-transplanted
>>>>> seaweeds
>>>>> / macro-algae / crustose coraline algae can play.
>>>>> Active seaweed growth has the potential to draw down both DIN and pCO2
>>>>> in
>>>>> the seawater in their near vicinity. Note: seaweed precipitate no (or
>>>>> little) CaCo3 (= source of CO2 to seawater)
>>>>> The use of "algal scrubbers" to reduce DIN levels in aquarium systems
>>>>> is
>>>>> common practice. Can we do something similar within our transplanted
>>>>> coral
>>>>> nurseries and co-locate seaweeds?
>>>>> Obviously, field research is needed here. But a couple of interesting
>>>>> results are noteworthy, and suggest the successful outcomes may be
>>>>> possible.
>>>>> Firstly, in the lab, Yuen et al. (2009) were able to demonstrate that
>>>>> algae
>>>>> (in this case crustose coralline algae) when co-located with Acorpora
>>>>> digitifera in small tanks were able to quickly (days) draw down DIN
>>>>> (and
>>>>> possibly pCO2?) levels. This resulted in the exact benefits expected
>>>>> if
>>>>> intracellular CO2-limitation is a controlling feature of endosymbiont
>>>>> behaviour. It increased photophysiology efficiency (Fv/Fm, ETR), and
>>>>> reduced the level of bleaching and mortality compared to non
>>>>> treatment.
>>>>> https://www.researchgate.net/publication/319255076_
>>>>> Published_manuscript_Yuen_et_al_2009_Effects_of_live_rock_
>>>>> on_the_reef-building_coral_Acropora_digitifera_cultured_with_high_levels_of_
>>>>> nitrogenous_compounds_Aquacultural_Engineering_4135-43
>>>>> This is a promising result in the lab. But what of any field evidence?
>>>>> There is an interesting dataset by Jompa and McCook (1998) who (quite
>>>>> by
>>>>> accident) recorded much lower levels of bleaching and mortality in
>>>>> corals
>>>>> that were surrounded by seaweed (particurlarly Sargassum spp) during
>>>>> the
>>>>> 1998 mass bleaching event on the inshore Great Barrier Reef. The
>>>>> authors
>>>>> were at the time undertaking another unrelated experiment that
>>>>> involved
>>>>> manually removing seaweed from some reef sites. They observed a
>>>>> dramatic
>>>>> (2-3 fold) increase in the level of coral bleaching at sites from
>>>>> which
>>>>> seaweeds had been removed.
>>>>> https://www.researchgate.net/publication/319255226_The_
>>>>> beneficial_role_of_seaweeds_in_reducing_coral_bleaching_
>>>>> on_the_inshore_reefs_of_the_Great_Barrier_Reef_1998
>>>>> The authors speculated that the seaweed may have been providing a
>>>>> shading
>>>>> benefit (and this may be true). However, could it also have been the
>>>>> case
>>>>> that the seaweed had reduced seawater DIN and pCO2 in the vicinity of
>>>>> the
>>>>> corals? I think we need (with haste) to test this possibility.
>>>>> One issue may be that we need the seaweed to be in an active growing
>>>>> state
>>>>> to be of real benefit. For example, in artificial wetlands used to
>>>>> treat
>>>>> nutrient effluent it is well know that nutrient uptake rates into
>>>>> plant
>>>>> biomass are high initially and then tail off. This necessitates (for
>>>>> this
>>>>> system) that the plants be harvested and removed at the end of each
>>>>> growing
>>>>> season. Luckily for us, seaweeds tend to die back in the winter months
>>>>> naturally and we may not need to worry about this? Anyway, now i am
>>>>> just
>>>>> guessing.
>>>>> I hope this may be of some benefit in sparking the challenge to that
>>>>> eco-engineer/entrepreneur.
>>>>> scott
>>>>> https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Scott_Wooldridge
>>>>> Cited Literature
>>>>> Jompa and McCook (1998) Seeweeds save the reef. Unpublished report.
>>>>> Yuen et al. (2009) Effects of live rock on the reef-building coral
>>>>> Acropora
>>>>> digitifera cultured with high levels of nitrogenous compounds.
>>>>> Aquacultural
>>>>> Engineering 41:35-43
>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>> Coral-List mailing list
>>>>> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>>>>> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list
>> _______________________________________________
>> Coral-List mailing list
>> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list
> -- 
> Cordial saludo,
> Nohora Galvis
> Directora Observatorio Pro Arrecifes
> Fundación ICRI Colombia
> Coordinadora Red Internacional de Observadores Voluntarios del Arrecife
> Facebook.com/ICRI.COLOMBIA
> Twitter @ArrecifesCoral e @ICRIcolombia

More information about the Coral-List mailing list