translocation of Porites bommies

Juan A. Sanchez js15 at
Tue Nov 16 12:27:54 EST 1999

Dear All,

I would like to say a couple of things about this interesting issue of
moving (transplanting) massive corals. I am pretty sure that Kirsten
Michalek-Wagner should have very good reasons to move such huge Porites. I
already had a similar experience some years ago in the Colombian
Caribbean.  Cartagena bay is surrounded by some particular coral reefs,
which on the surface fresh waters flow. A steady state of low
transparency, sediments, organic and chemical contamination affects those
coral reefs since four centuries ago. Those reefs, however, are going to
be dredging at the best or physically removed at the worst because of the
expansion of the port. We did a transplantation experiment 22 km away from
the donor reef (some huge Diplorias and Montastreas). We made sure to find
a very similar habitat and we wanted to follow the survivorship of corals.
We actually had to switch the analysis to grazing effects and partial
mortality because any of the colonies died. Those colonies did spawn and
growth during one year. So if those huge colonies (and survivors of a
natural experiment of adaptation to rough environments) are worth (as
Laurie suggested: "the point of risking them" ), why do not move them away
and keep them alive? Many other questions can also be addressed with that
sort of experiments. Those colonies have inside their environmental
history and that can be compared after some time of transplantation, just
to mention something.

    To answer Laurie's question, there are many products to cement corals
underwater. They are just additives to mix with normal cement (SIKA),
which are not very toxic to the environment. The corals will be all set in
about an hour after transplantation and if the coral is very heavy is even
more easy. Cheers,

Very sincerely,

Juan A. Sanchez
Graduate Research assistant

----- Original Message -----
From: Laurie Jeanne Raymundo <ljr5 at>
To: <coral-list at>
Sent: Tuesday, November 16, 1999 10:06 AM
Subject: Re: translocation of Porites bommies

> Hello, all:
> I have to say I agree with Michael Rosenfeld and Maoz Fine: what is the
> point of risking what is bound to be extensive damage to very old massive
> Porites colonies by moving them?  Why is this necessary and what is to be
> accomplished?  Work by several folks have shown that massives that aren't
> firmly attached to the substrate after transplantation do not reestablish
> well.  I can't even imagine how one might go about positioning and
> cementing such colonies.
> Laurie Raymundo

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