1. Faeces from coral-eating fish may act as "probiotics" for reefs by redistributing beneficial microbes that can help coral thrive.
2. Previously, it was thought that corallivore fish weakened marine surfaces, but the study found that their faeces helped disperse helpful microbes and kept the reefs healthy.
3. More research is needed to test how fish faeces affect corals and how they can be used in management efforts to support coral reef health.
The article discusses a new study that suggests the faeces of coral-eating fish may act as "probiotics" for reefs. The study found that by eating some parts of the coral and then pooing in different areas of the reef, corallivore fish redistribute beneficial microbes that can help coral thrive. The article notes that previously, it was thought that corallivore fish weakened marine surfaces.
The article provides quotes from Dr Carsten Grupstra, the lead author of the study, who explains that corallivore faeces contain many bacterial taxa that associate with healthy corals under normal conditions. When these microorganisms are transferred from the poo to a new coral colony, they can be beneficial to that new coral colony.
However, the article also notes that more research is needed in more natural conditions to test how fish faeces affect corals and how they might be used in management efforts to support coral reef health.
Overall, the article presents a balanced view of the study's findings and potential implications. It acknowledges previous assumptions about corallivore fish and their impact on reefs while highlighting new research suggesting their role as "probiotics." The article also notes limitations in the study and calls for further research.
There do not appear to be any significant biases or unsupported claims in this article. However, it is worth noting that there is no discussion of potential risks associated with using fish faeces as probiotics for reefs. Additionally, while the article provides quotes from Dr Grupstra discussing potential benefits of corallivore faeces, there are no counterarguments presented or alternative perspectives explored.