Nature Blog Network

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Bombs or Development?

ScienceNow has a preview (arggh!) of a research article from Journal of Coastal Research comparing coral abundance and diversity from areas in the former Vieques Island military range in Puerto Rico, to areas outside the range and areas in nearby marine parks.

Bottom line ?

Though there are areas of extreme impact (bomb craters anyone?) the researchers found the area as a whole was in better shape than the nearby marine park areas. The chief difference appears to be island development - Vieques Island has almost none.

"The take-home message seems to be that the most glaring problems--like bombing--might not be as serious in the long term as the quiet or silent problems, like runoff and development,"
If anyone can find the article online please let me know...


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Interesting findings - but at first glimpse it seems reasonable that a historically disturbed area would show a greater diversity of sessile organisms due to an abundance of cleared sites for mobile larvae to settle. Granted, disturbance isn't usually by tonnes of high explosive, but still...

    It'd be pretty interesting to see time series' of abundance and diversity to see whether the disturbed sites became more like the MPA sites over time or retained their differences.

  3. This finding wouldn't be all that unusual. The best remaining coastal habitat in SoCal is at Camp Pendleton. The military preserves huge swaths of good habitat all over the world.


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