Corals and Permaculture

Keeping corals before I started farming taught me a lot about natural systems management.  Keeping corals demands the cultivation of a diverse and stable environment over a long time course.  It demands the management of nutrients and energy cycling.   As I’ve continued to develop my permaculture system I have noticed many similarities between the two radically different systems.



-Systems are microcosms of natural systems


-Too many nutrients or a nutrient imbalance will destabilize system


-Too many of one species will result in disease or pest problems and overall increased instability


-Species biodiversity provides positive feedback (more biodiversity) and vice versus.  i.e. the addition of one species can lead to the capability of supporting others; and conversely if one species is lost others may be as well.


-Application of pesticides to system would result in collapse


-High levels of species diversity stabilize system


-High levels species interaction and codependence


-High levels of productivity resulting from niche partitioning


-System crashes (periods of instability) can teach you valuable lessons


-Healthy soil rich in biota:  healthy sand/gravel rich in biota


-Grazers are necessary to balance system


-Beauty increases with diversity


-Sunlight fuels everything