[Coral-List] Coral reef restoration

Dennis Hubbard dennis.hubbard at oberlin.edu
Fri Feb 3 14:57:53 EST 2017

Hi John:

I am biased on this front as I had so many bad experiences, way back when,
with consultants transplanting and outplanting colonies as part of a
"remediation plan" that seemed like the equivalent of moving residents of a
nice neighborhood into twice as large a house.... but one that was
burning.... as a social offset to a new hotel in the old neighborhood. The
individual I am referring to was locally labeled the "biostitute" for a bad
habit of trading a finished report for a check before the project started.

While I in no way conflate the more recent efforts to less altruistic ones
in the past, I mention this to suggest that anyone with similar experiences
in the past is not going to be motivated to try and do s study to either
evaluate or set criteria for success. This is further complicated by the
fact that those in established careers will probably be hesitant to make
the switch from doing what they are trained for to something that they are
not - in short, the folks involved in trans- and outplanting run in
different circles that the folks you would like to see creating objective
evaluation protocols. Finally, many of the criteria  I've heard discussed
center around things like the trade-off between coral cover and genetic
complexity (not in my job description). So, while simply monitoring the
longevity of outplants will address the efficacy of such measures under
present-day conditions (or future ones with a slow and predictable rate of
change), problems related to genetic resilience will work on a much longer
temporal scale.

So, I think the bottom line is that it is unlikely to see the scientific
community at large devoting a lot of time to creating criteria for
"success" when we really don't know what
success" might look like in the longer term (and I'm talking the biological
long term and not the geologic one).

This is just a stream-of-consciousness perspective in between a last minute
faculty search (yesterday) and a visit by program reviewers (Sunday).



On Thu, Feb 2, 2017 at 1:10 PM, John Ware <jware at erols.com> wrote:

> Dear List,
> Back in ~mid January, I sent out a request asking the list for
> references to papers that provided an evaluation or critique of the
> process of reef restoration, coral transplants, "population enhancement"
> (my personal favorite), etc.
> Of the 68 papers in my file on this topic, only one is the least bit
> critical:
> Bayraktarov et al, Ecol Appl 26(4):1055-1074 (I believe this is open
> access).
> Elisa et al. concentrate on financial aspects and note that few papers
> describe costs in sufficient detail.  But they also mention that there
> is almost certainly a publication bias towards success.
> It seems to me that there should be somewhere a critical review
> mentioning, for example, the relevance of scale in terms of global reef
> size and climate change.
> But it does not appear that anyone has done the critical review that I
> expected to find (in a respectable journal).
> Did I miss something??
> John Ware
> --
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Dennis Hubbard
Chair, Dept of Geology-Oberlin College Oberlin OH 44074
(440) 775-8346

* "When you get on the wrong train.... every stop is the wrong stop"*
 Benjamin Stein: "*Ludes, A Ballad of the Drug and the Dream*"

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