[Coral-List] Effects of nuclear testing on coral reefs

Peter Sale sale at uwindsor.ca
Tue Jul 18 23:53:43 EDT 2017

The recent comments by Doug Fenner and Maria Beger concerning status of coral reefs on atolls of the northern Marshall Islands, reminded me of a paper I had a hand in in 2005.

The paper concerned the impacts on fish communities of the nuclear tests carrier out on Mururoa Atoll.  Despite being published in Ecology, it has been cited relatively few times.  That may mean that the results were so surprising that people did not know what to do with them, or it may be something to do with politics and the fact that much of the western world was uptight over French testing on Mururoa - a bit of anglo "only America gets to blow up atolls, and only the UK gets to use other people's deserts for nuclear testing with impunity" sort of thing.  I don't know for sure.

Anyhow, the paper said nothing about coral but much about fish communities that seemed to recover quite well, as I remember.

The citation is Planes, S., R. Galzin, J.-P. Bablet, and P.F. Sale, 2005.  Stability of coral reef fish assemblages impacted by nuclear tests.  Ecology 86: 2578-2585.

Peter Sale
University of Windsor
sale at uwindsor.ca<mailto:sale at uwindsor.ca>

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