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New Seeding Approach Reduces Costs and Time to Outplant Sexually Propagated Corals for Reef Restoration

Lookup NU author(s): Dr James Guest

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Abstract

© 2017 The Author(s). The use of sexually propagated corals is gaining popularity as an approach for reef restoration. However, manually attaching substrates with recently settled corals to the reef using binding materials is both time-consuming and expensive, limiting the use of this technique to small spatial scales. We present a novel approach whereby young corals are 'seeded' on the reef without the need for manual attachment to the benthos. We tested two tetrapod-shaped concrete substrates (7.9 and 9.8 cm in diameter) on which coral larvae were settled. The tetrapods were efficiently deployed by wedging them in reef crevices, in 1.5 to 7% of the time required for traditional outplanting techniques. Seeding tetrapods was most effective in reefs with moderately to highly complex topographies, where they rapidly became lodged in crevices or cemented to the benthos by encrusting organisms. After one year, average recruit survival was 9.6% and 67% of tetrapods still harboured at least one coral colony, and overall, this approach resulted in a 5 to 18 fold reduction in outplanting costs compared to common outplanting methods. This seeding approach represents a substantial reduction in costs and time required to introduce sexually propagated corals to reefs, and could possibly enable larger scale reef restoration.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Chamberland VF, Petersen D, Guest JR, Petersen U, Brittsan M, Vermeij MJA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Scientific Reports

Year: 2017

Volume: 7

Online publication date: 22/12/2017

Acceptance date: 28/11/2017

ISSN (electronic): 2045-2322

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group

URL: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-17555-z

DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-17555-z


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