Rand proposes to study the potential toxicity of lionfish meat to humans. His view is that since no viable control options have been found, it is best to embrace the potential of lionfish as a food source and the possibility of taking enough to slow population growth. Because of the risk of toxic chemicals such as PCBs accumulating in the fat of the lionfish, the study proposes to collect samples of fish from several areas and test for the presence of these chemicals to determine if lionfish is safe for consumption according to FDA standards.
Reinsvold proposes to study the potential of grouper predation to control the lionfish population in the Caribbean. If this is successful, it will open the possibility of augmentative biocontrol for the lionfish. The study will take place in several microcosm environments within a lab that manipulate the presence of groupers, lionfish, and native species. The results of the study are expected to provide a further direction for study in regards to lionfish control, either towards augmentative biocontrol or in a new direction.
Blaser also proposes to study the potential of augmentative biocontrol using groupers. The study will include observation of the natural dynamics of lionfish and grouper populations on a reef and also manipulate the proportion of lionfish and grouper on a separate reef. He expects to be able to provide insight on the potential of augmentative biocontrol for controlling the lionfish.
From studies lionfish, it was been concluded that the lionfish population is not going to be decreasing anytime soon. Therefore, a proposal that suggests methods to try and reduce the population is important. Our panel recommends that a full proposal be solicited from Reinsvold to study the potential of grouper predation on lionfish. This study seems to be the most worthwhile option for combating the lionfish and is also well structured. While Blaser proposes to study the same option of augmentative biocontrol, is not as simple and has potential for error since it is taking place on an actual coral reef where it would be nearly impossible to control the amount of fish in the area. Our panel also feels that augmentative biocontrol has a greater chance of success to control the lionfish than commercial fishing and consumption if the fish in Rand’s study prove to be safe to eat. Furthermore, Reinsvold’s suggestion to utilize augmentative biocontrol makes his study more favorable to fund. Through augmentative biocontrol, a native species is increased rather than introducing a new species into an already invaded ecosystem.
Unfortunately, we would not accept the study as it is now because it is in need of improvement. In terms of the prose, Reinsvold’s need to emphasize the beauty of the reefs is not really necessary plus most scientists want to preserve reef ecosystems not because of aesthetic beauty, but because of its scientific usefulness. Also, the question could be worded clearer. It is concise and to the point, but adding a little to it could improve the clarity of the paper as a whole. In addition, an explanation of why this method of eliminating the lionfish is plausible would be better in persuading readers to give funds to the effort. Lastly, we are not convinced that if the biocontrol was unsuccessful simply increasing fishing permits could have a serious impact on reversing the introduction of the groupers. For the actual study, we suggest a change of the methods. We suggest two additional treatments. One treatment will have Tiger groupers, lionfish, and native fish, and one that will have Nassau groupers, lionfish, and native fish. This way, he will be able to compare feeding rates when the biocontrol agents have a choice in feeding. The first four treatments do not reflect actual scenarios, but do provide important data. The two suggested treatments, in addition to current “Treatment 4”, reflect real life. These changes would improve Reinsvold’s proposal and improve his chances of receiving funding.
Biological Invasions DOI:10.1007/s10530-010-9786-8 (2010)
With the increase in number and variety of harmful invasive species, the development of ecological modeling methods has become increasingly useful. These models are created to show ecological needs of the invasive species at question, and show what conditions are necessary for the species to continue to grow. James A. Morris, Kyle W. Shertzer, and James. A. Rice, members of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in North Carolina, have created a model of the growth rate of lionfish in the Atlantic and Caribbean. They used sensitivity analysis of vital rates of these lionfish, which allowed them to determine that the successful growth of lionfish populations is heavily reliant on the survivability of larval lionfish. The models that they created are important in that they shed light on a possible way to eliminate lionfish growth. According to their findings, stopping the spread of lionfish would involve removing over a quarter of the adult population on a yearly basis. However, if humans could develop a response plan that specifically targeted lionfish larvae, there may be a chance to finally stop this harmful invasive species.
Environmental Biology of Fishes, 86, 389-398 (2009)
Research was done on the Pterois volitans, or lionfish, to evaluate what it commonly eats. To check these feeding patterns, researchers looked at the stomach contents of fish they captured. They checked both the frequency in which certain prey appeared in the stomachs of lionfish and the quantity that was present to conclude the primary sources of food. The study was also able to conclude that lionfish eat the most in the mornings from 8:00 to 10:00. The size of the lionfish had a large effect on its diet as well, the larger ones feeding primarily on other fish while the smaller ones ate crustaceans more often. By understanding these dietary preferences of the lionfish we have a better chance at successfully controlling their populations where they have become an issue
Lionfish have invaded the Northern Atlantic and Bahamian Archipelago at astonishing rates. According to Dean Ahrenholz and James Morris Jr., in a study funded by the US government, this may be due in part to their short larval durations and settlement times. In this research article, it was found that the settlement age was between 20 and 35 days with a mean of 26.2 days and this is sufficient for long distance dispersal of the lionfish. This helps to explain why lionfish, which were first released into the Northern Atlantic in 1992, had already spread to the Bahamas by 2004 and are already at densities eight times their native regions. Mr. Ahrenholz had two goals: develop settlement mark identification criteria for lionfish sagittal otoliths and estimate settlement age for lionfish in the Bahamian archipelago. One thing that is important to the study is that it quantifies the reason why lionfish are now considered at rampant reproduction rates in the Bahamas.
Corrections made for my second draft seemed to be east, but then took longer than expected. A simple read through allowed me to find grammer mistakes and areas where the paper lacked flow. Those were fixed and i beleived improved. From there I went to make corrections based on nots from my small group and Prof Cooke. These took a little longer. They wanted to me elaborate but cut the paper down. So in some areas I eliminated details that were not essential (although imformative). Then I added on to areas where there seemed to be some unanswered questions. One of which was a “resolution” to the tale of the lionfish. I added a new paragraph which explained where we, as a community, stand at this time in addressing this issue.
Some questions for prof cooke:
you commented “direct enough”- i’m not sure what that means
also “more of your own voice” i feel that I did this, but also it is hard when many opinions i have are those I got from the papers
also, did i cut enough details or should I try to take away more?
if anyone has nothing to do and wants to proofread my paper. Email me and I’ll send it to you.
Environ Biol Fish 10.1007/s10641-009-9538-8 (2009)
The lionfish that have invaded the Bahamas archipelago have a devastating impact on local fish populations. An experiment on lionfish (Pterosis volitans) shows that they primarily eat small-bodied teleost fish, fish imperative to the feeding habits of species like serranids and lutjanids, which have economic benefits. James A. Morris and his colleagues from the National Ocean Service studied three relative measures of prey quantity: percent volume, number, and frequency. As suction feeders, lionfish can rapidly expand their bodies with a rapid forward motion, which combined with several other strategies, makes them a dangerous predator. Their highest prey by volume was teleost fish (78%) with crustaceans such as shrimp following with 14.4% by volume. In addition, it was found that as lionfish increased in size, their eating habits changed to almost exclusively eating teleosts. This study shows, for the first time, the impact of lionfish on coral reef fish communities.
Mar Ecol Prog Ser. Vol. 401: 291–294, 2010.
Since its introduction into Florida nearly a decade ago, Pterois volitans, the Lionfish, began its invasion of the coral reefs in the West Atlantic, especially in the Bahamas. In its non-native habitat, the Lionfish has become much more productive and successful than in its native home, because there are limited predators once it reaches adulthood. With the increase in Lionfish, there is a decrease in native fish recruitment.
Andrew B. Barbour,of the University of Florida, and his colleagues decided to answer the question of this invasive phenomenon. Do the Lionfish have an affect on the decreased recruitment? They hypothesized that the Lionfish have been living in the mangroves that the native species use to reproduce. To test this, researchers checked the mangroves and examined stomach contents of the lionfish. In the contents, the scientists found remnants of species that are found within the Mangrove. With this analysis, the scientists concluded that the Lionfish had been preying on fish in the mangroves, most of which are juvenile. This has lead to increased juvenile mortality and therefore, the researchers believe, has lead to decreased recruitment. Despite their finding, the researchers hope for more in depth studies to be held.