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Can SCTLD-susceptible species be outplanted on Florida’s Coral Reef with acceptable survival rates to warrant larger-scale coral restoration efforts to commence?

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Erinn Muller & Restoration Team Members

Executive Summary

A priority of Florida’s Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD) Response Restoration Team is to contribute to an understanding of whether SCTLD-susceptible coral species can be outplanted with acceptable survival rates to warrant large-scale coral restoration efforts using these foundational species. In advance of a project that directly tests this question, the Restoration Team compiled information from ongoing coral outplanting projects across Florida’s Coral Reef. The following document includes findings on coral survivorship and, as applicable, disease prevalence on SCTLD-susceptible corals outplanted in 2018 and 2019 by five partner organizations: Mote Marine Laboratory, University of Miami, Coral Restoration Foundation, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and The Nature Conservatory. To complement this document, the Restoration Team has developed a detailed spreadsheet to track ongoing outplanting efforts that include SCTLD-susceptible species. This spreadsheet can be made available to restoration partners upon request.

Based on the reports from partner organizations, SCTLD is not a major factor influencing outplant survival rates in Florida using SCTLD-susceptible species. However, differences in restoration efforts, such as location, species, coral density, colony size, time of outplanting, and genetic diversity prevent definitive conclusions. Predation, however, was routinely noted as a potential limitation to outplant survival and ultimately restoration success. Survivorship and disease prevalence of these restoration efforts, as well as others occurring with SCTLD-susceptible species, will continue to be tracked and this document will be updated as warranted.

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

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