Page Banner

Coral Propagation: Land-based and Offshore Nursery Phase III

Document Type: 
Author Name: 
Joana Figueiredo

This project aims to assist the asexual and sexual propagation of coral species affected by the stony coral tissue loss disease in the ECA, by increasing reef-building coral biomass available for restoration and producing corals with high genetic diversity that are better adapted to local and global stressors. 

This project demonstrates that the culture of corals at Nova Southeastern University’s ex situ and in situ nurseries has progressively become more successful, but continues to encounter issues that require further optimization. One hundred and fifty-eight adult corals were kept in captivity at Nova Southeastern University’s ex situ nursery, with minimal cases of disease and even less of death. Corals in both indoors and outdoor systems were induced to mature their gonads, however synchronous spawning was only successful in Montastraea cavernosa kept indoors. Fertilization, larval rearing and settlement were very successful. Five hundred and fifty larvae were produced at NSU, of which nearly 100,000 larvae were donated to other institutions. Despite a large die-off on one of the systems (not caused by equipment failure nor water quality issues, but likely a microbial community shift), 2190 sexual recruits were successfully reared (9 months) from the larvae produced at NSU and donated by other institutions. The grow-out of microfragments and sexual recruits outdoors in tables seems to be mostly hampered by predation and may require refinement to prevent it. The co-culture of herbivores is promising to control algal overgrowth but requires testing at older life stages when light levels are higher, and algae grows more readily.

Last Modified:
January 23, 2023 - 4:14pm

Some content on this site is saved in an alternative format. The following icons link to free Reader/Viewer software:
PDF: | Word: | Excel: