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Restoration Team

The Restoration Team is responsible for developing action plans associated with identified research priorities and coordinating outplanting and monitoring of corals susceptible to stony coral tissue loss disease (SCTLD). The overall goal is to inform coral restoration practices under the current and likely endemic SCTLD outbreak. In 2019, the Restoration Team created an Action Plan containing recommendations for future restoration efforts, and identified three priority questions for restoration within the framework of SCTLD: 

  • Determine whether non-affected species can be disease reservoirs or vectors (Figure 1 below)
  • Quantify the survival of outplants of SCTLD-susceptible species
  • Identify if outplanting susceptible species might impact local disease prevalence

Staghorn Coral is not susceptible to SCTLD

Figure 1. Field observations and preliminary experiments by members of the Restoration Team indicate that staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis) is not affected by SCTLD and does not act as a disease reservoir. Photo credit: Kelli ODonnell (NOAA)

The Restoration Team has made significant progress in addressing these questions, with results available in the team's reports below. The Team has also compiled a state of knowledge report containing a compilation of case studies that were conducted by team members from 2018 to 2020. Additionally, the Team began a large-scale reciprocal outplanting experiment in May 2021 to further delve into the questions developed in the 2019 Action Plan (Figure 2 below). Finally, during a technical workshop in April 2021 the Team identified new additional priorities to address, including:

  • The development of methods to acclimate corals within staging areas or nurseries prior to outplanting
  • Quantifying survival of coral species that are novel to restoration practitioners using different outplant designs and densities
  • Reducing the rate of predation associated with outplanting SCTLD - susceptible species

Divers outplanting SCTLD-susceptible coral colonies

Figure 2. Members of the Restoration Team deploying outplants of SCTLD-susceptible coral species as part of the large-scale reciprocal transplant experiment. Photo credit: Josh Voss (FAU-HBOI)

Restoration Team Products

Contact/Team Leads:

Last Modified:
February 14, 2024 - 10:38am

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