This is to be expected. Coconut production uses a low nitrogen and phosphous,
high potassium, fertiliser regime. Smaller scale producers, such as those on
Palmyra, tend to use organic wastes, animal and human, to supply the N & K and
potassium chloride (interestingly, usually mixed 1:1 with sodium chloride) for
the K. Add that regime to the much lower plant densities in copra plantations,
the fertiliser run off would be pretty low.
If copra plantations such as are found on Palmyra and I presume others on
Pacific atolls, I would imagine the same, if not worse conditions, occur for
Mantas in the seas surrounding areas where oil palm plantations occur. Oil palm
fertiliser regimes tend to use lower rates of N & P than those for copra palm.
Humans certainly not good for the rest of the worlds biome.
On 18/08/2012, at 5:42 PM, David Adams <> wrote:
> Some of you will find this paper interesting:
> "From wing to wing: the persistence of long ecological interaction
> chains in less-disturbed ecosystems"
> The title is a bit of mouthful but the article isn't too hard to
> follow. (There are some technical terms that Mr. Google helped me out
> The author's found an unusual study site on a remote central tropical
> Pacific atoll. They were able to make comparisons between areas with
> native trees and areas with planted palms. What they turned up:
> Native trees attract almost 5x as many seabirds for roosting and nesting.
> Seabirds bring a lot of nutrients from the sea to the land as
> guano and through regurgitation
> Soils from the native trees then pass more nitrogen (and
> other substances) back into the otherwise nutrient-poor adjacent ocean
> These nutrients lead to (far) more and (slightly)
> larger plankton
> Manta rays only visit the areas near the native forest
> I assume that the "wing to wing" in the paper's title refers to the
> wings of seabirds and mantas.
> The authors claim that this is the longest interactive chain
> documented in a natural ecosystem to date.
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