[Coral-List] New publication on enhanced coral larval supply and recruitment

Peter Harrison Peter.Harrison at scu.edu.au
Tue Nov 28 00:39:40 EST 2017

Colleagues, some of you may be interested in a paper we published recently in Scientific Reports entitled “Enhanced larval supply and recruitment can replenish reef corals on degraded reefs” by Dexter dela Cruz and Peter Harrison. The paper is freely available online at www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-14546-y<http://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-14546-y>

Abstract: Foundation species have essential roles in ecosystems but are often highly susceptible to disturbances. Reef-building corals are foundation species on reefs however increasing anthropogenic and natural disturbances are eroding coral community resilience leading to declining reef ecosystem function and status in many regions. Successful reproduction and recruitment is essential for restoring coral populations but recruitment-limitation can constrain recovery. We supplied ~400,000 Acropora tenuis larvae in fine-mesh enclosures on each of four larval-enhancement sites to significantly increase larval settlement and recruitment on degraded reef areas in the northwestern Philippines. Initial settlement was high and juvenile survivorship began stabilising after five months, with recruits becoming visible at nine months. After three years a mean of 2.3 m-2 colonies survived on available reef substrata within each larval-enhancement site. Most colonies grew rapidly and spawned successfully at three years, thereby quickly re-establishing a breeding population. In contrast, natural recruitment failed to produce any new visible A. tenuis colonies at these sites. These results demonstrate that mass settlement of coral larvae can rapidly enhance recruitment and coral recovery on degraded but recoverable reef areas, and provides an important option for active reef restoration where key threats are managed but larval supply and recruitment success are limiting.

Please contact us if you have any difficulties accessing the paper and would like the pdf sent directly,

Regards, Peter

Professor Peter Harrison
Director, Marine Ecology Research Centre
Southern Cross University
Lismore NSW 2480 Australia
T    02 66 203774
M  0407 456 249
E: peter.harrison at scu.edu.au<mailto:peter.harrison at scu.edu.au>

"from little larvae big corals grow"

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