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Jim Anderson

This report brings up questions concerning artificial reefs being constructed with junked cars, scuttled ships, old oil rigs and the like. Anecdotally, these are reported to increase diversity and productivity in waters not currently blessed with natural reefs. Any data on this, and the conflict concerning the black reefs?

Merry replies: Perceptive question, Jim. The successful artificial reefs have not encountered this problem because they are used in areas, such as Hawaii or the Caribbean, where iron is not the limiting nutrient. Algal growth there is limited by other nutrients. The Line Islands, due to their location and their being coral atolls, have less influx of iron due to the lack of iron-containing runoff from the land and no dust-laden winds.

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