[Coral-List] he GBR is in trouble, but not dead

Dennis Hubbard dennis.hubbard at oberlin.edu
Sat Mar 25 16:01:49 EDT 2017

Sander's email brings up a number if interesting questions. My simple
geologist's understanding of coral reproduction highlights the trade-offs
between high success rates of asexual reproduction versus the increasing
genetic diversity of "risky sexual behavior" (brooding and especially
broadcasting). In this perhaps simplistic view, identifying "useful"
strategies (out-planting corals that tend toward asexual reproduction) or
characteristics (temperature and/or pH resistance), and then using these
perceived "advantages" to design corals "better adapted" to present-day
harmful conditions, are we setting up future generations for massive and
widespread failure if our perceptions of "good" and "bad" prove less than


On Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 8:22 AM, Sander Scheffers <
Sander.Scheffers at scu.edu.au> wrote:

> Not all is bad,
> We have been able to spawn many corals yesterday and growth rates of our
> corals are averaging 1cm extension/wk for Acros.
> All of this is done in Cairns for sustainable aquaculture.
> Maybe with increased growth and more frequent spawning we can actually
> adapt certain corals to climate change scenarios.
> We can fast grow and multiple spawn GBR corals in a land based facility.
> Should we adapt corals to higher temps and lower pH, (because maybe we
> can) and get grants to put them out to the reef?
> Is it desirable or ethical?
> If you have ideas, input or general directions on this, please let us know
> Dr. Sander Scheffers
> Senior Lecturer (Hoogleraar), School of Environment, Science &
> Engineering, Southern Cross University
> Honorary Research Fellow, University of Queensland, QLD, Australia
> Associate Researcher, Caribbean Institute for Biodiversity (CARMABI),
> Curacao, Netherlands Antilles
> Military Rd, Lismore NSW 2477
> T: 02 6620 3277<tel:02%206620%203277> | E: sander.scheffers at scu.edu.au<
> mailto:sander.scheffers at scu.edu.au>
> CRICOS Provider: 01241G
> On 23 Mar 2017, at 22:55, Ed Blume <eblume2702 at gmail.com<mailto:e
> blume2702 at gmail.com>> wrote:
> "Senile reef" will morph into "zombie reef" - part dead, part alive, and
> snagging unsuspecting ships.
> Ed Blume
> ​Moderator, coralfree-freeforall at yahoogroups.com<mailto:coralfr
> ee-freeforall at yahoogroups.com>
> On Wed, Mar 22, 2017 at 9:51 AM, Eugene Shinn <eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu<
> mailto:eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu>>
> wrote:
> Ellen Prager points out a significant problem when dealing with the
> press.If you are not careful you can easily get burned by an over
> zealous environmental writer and headline writer. She rightly makes the
> point that headlines for a story are often written by specialist other
> than the writer who wrote the story. The headline is written to grab the
> attention of the reader. Remember they are also in the business of
> selling newspapers and as the reader knows, readership is suffering and
> newspapers are going out of business almost daily. Some years ago I was
> badly burned by some lurid headlines. At that time writers received
> extra cash if the Associated Press picks up their story and passes it on
> to other newspapers.Each paper that picked up my story about the effect
> of sewage nutrients on coral reefs created ever more eye-catching
> headlines. “Sewage killing reefs scientist says.” The results were
> unhappy calls from dive shop owners in the keys whose dive trips were
> being cancelled because clients did not want to dive in poop. It was
> most embarrassing.
> Reef researchers have for years wrestled with how to define reefs.
> Biologists and geologists see reefs differently and the average reader
> can become confused by terms like bioherm, biostrome, or even live rock.
> Remember when that big tanker grounded on “Bligh Reef” in Cook inlet
> Alaska? So-called Bligh reef is simply a submerged mountaintop. It is
> not a reef but the confusion affected people in the Florida Keys who did
> not know the difference. Even sandbars have been called reefs. In fact
> anything that a ship can ground on is often called a reef. It’s just
> maritime lore.
> We discuss this problem in detail in our upcoming book, “Geology of the
> Florida Keys,” coauthored by Barbara Lidz. In the book we invented a
> term for dead or almost dead reefs originally used by Lidz in her
> extensive USGS review of Florida Keys Geology,
> <http://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/2007/1751> For lack of a better term we called
> reefs no longer growing “senile reefs.” We can’t predict what a news
> writer might do with that term but we could not think of anything better
> at the time. As many readers know, Florida reefs are indeed suffering
> senility. Hopefully most will recover their former vitality. It will be
> interesting to see what a news writer might do with those terms, or for
> that matter, readers of the coral-list. Lets see, “Reefs in the keys
> can’t think straight” or “they forget who they are.” Gene
> --
> No Rocks, No Water, No Ecosystem (EAS)
> ------------------------------------ -----------------------------------
> 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<mailto:eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu>>
> Tel 727 553-1158
> ---------------------------------- -----------------------------------
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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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