Bruce Carlson carlson at
Tue Feb 20 19:25:55 EST 1996


I have not conducted any coral transplantation work in the field but we  
handle a lot of coral fragments in culture and the techniques could be  
applied to field situations.  Others can inform you how they transplant  
corals on the reef, but on our "farm" we snip off fragments roughly 3-5cm  
in length (mostly Acropora spp.).  These are immediately glued onto  
small, cubical nylon plugs ("faucet adaptors") using Z-Spar splash zone  
compound (A-788).  The plugs are then set into the slots in a plastic  
eggcrate tray in an outdoor aquarium.  We can grow dozens of fragments in  
a very small space this way.  The fragments are then used for research,  
or given to other public aquariums, or used in our own exhibits. 

I see no reason why this method could not be expanded to grow fragments  
to transplant on the reef.  The plugs could either be snipped off or used  
as anchors to hold the coral fragments in small holes on the reef.  Of  
course, the plugs would have to be secured with underwater epoxy to  
ensure that they stay in place.  This would require an underwater drill,  
and probably regular trips to the surface to get additional epoxy -- it  
starts to become unworkable in about 10 minutes. 

My gut feeling is that transplanting corals on the reef is more trouble  
than it's worth, given all the logistics involved, but there probably are  
reef areas which might be unsuitable for the settlement of coral planulae  
but otherwise have conditions suitable for coral growth.  Such areas  
might be candidates for transplanting fragments. 

On Tue, 20 Feb 1996 TSTEIN at wrote: 

> I recently read an article by Ian Anderson (New Scientist, Jul '95) on reparing 
> reefs by hard grafting coral samples taken from healthy reefs.  I am interested 
> in doing a case study on coral transplantation but find that the information 
> is very sparce.  Other than the IUCN red data book on invertebrates, are there 
> other primary sources I might look into? 
> Suggestions appreciated, 
> Tim Stein 

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