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Accession Number PB2013-107553
Title Small Scale Experimental Systems for Coral Research: Considerations, Planning, and Recommendations.
Publication Date Mar 2013
Media Count 78p
Personal Author T. C. Barlett
Abstract Only a few decades ago, keeping coral alive and healthy in closed, captive systems proved to be challenging. However, by the mid-1980s several breakthroughs were made and success with captive systems became more commonplace. In the short time since, there has been a surge of interest, knowledge, and technological advances with significant contributions from marine science, the aquarium industry, and aquarium hobbyists. Currently, there are several strategies for maintaining live coral outlined in many books, articles, and online resources. The majority of information now available focuses on success in either home and public aquaria (for aesthetic purposes) or commercial production. Likewise, the difficulty in keeping coral in captivity has limited their use in well controlled laboratory experimentation. Much of the research on coral health and disease has been observational (vs. manipulative), and until recently, experimentation has been performed in a field setting which is subject to many uncontrollable variables, some measurable and some not. Furthermore, experimentation with infectious agents of coral diseases and toxicant effectors (i.e., chemical or biological agents eliciting a response) in the wild carries the risk of harming natural populations and raises ethical dilemmas. As a result of these issues, we and others are working to create laboratory life support systems for corals that can be used for experimentation under well controlled and monitored parameters. This is in contrast to the hobbyist or public aquaria approaches that focus on enhancing aesthetic properties (i.e., color, feeding behavior etc.) rather than approximating optimal physiological condition of the coral. Laboratory life-support systems strive to control as much variability as possible thus providing greater statistical power (i.e., the ability to detect significant differences from collected data).
Keywords Aquatic ecosystems
Biological agents
Chemical agents
Marine organisms
Research project
Technology assessment
Water quality

Source Agency National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NTIS Subject Category 47D - Biological Oceanography
57H - Ecology
Corporate Author National Ocean Service, Charleston, SC. National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science.
Document Type Technical report
Title Note N/A
NTIS Issue Number 1315
Contract Number N/A

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