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Baird AH, Cumbo VR, Figueiredo J, Harii S, Hata T, Madin JS.2014. Comment on “Chemically mediated behavior of recruiting corals and fishes: A tipping point that may limit reef recovery”. PeerJ PrePrints2:e628v1https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.628v1
Dixson et al. (2014) report that coral larvae navigate towards chemical cues associated with healthy reefs and avoid cues from degraded reefs. However, the swimming capabilities of coral larvae and well-established patterns of recruitment and reef hydrodynamics indicate that coral larvae will not be able to use these cues to recruit to healthy reefs. Perfuming degraded reefs, as suggested by Dixson et al (2014), will not enhance recovery rather it will distract from the difficult task of reducing fishing effort and improving water quality.
This comment will be developed into a mini review on coral larval swimming speeds and the sensory abilities and the implications for reef management to be submitted to a journal such as Coral Reefs or PeerJ for review.