[Coral-List] new publication on coral restoration

Andy Shantz shantz.a at gmail.com
Mon Apr 1 14:32:49 UTC 2019

Dear Coral list,
We wanted to take a moment to share our recently published article on coral
restoration that we think may be of interest to many of your. The article -
"Near-term impacts of coral restoration on target species, coral reef
community structure, and ecological processes"  - in Restoration Ecology
follows up on several years of Acropora restoration in the Florida keys to
examine the impacts on community structure and the ecological processes
that shape coral reefs. The abstract is pasted below and early access to
the article is available at:
Please do not hesitate to contact either of us off list if you have any
questions or trouble downloading the full article.
Andy & Mark

"The global decline of corals has created an urgent need for effective,
science-based methods to augment coral populations and restore important
ecosystem functions. To meet this challenge, the field of coral restoration
has rapidly evolved over the past decade. However, despite widespread
efforts to outplant corals and monitor survivorship, there is a shortage of
information on the effects of coral restoration on reef communities or
important ecosystem functions. To fill this knowledge gap, we examined the
effects of restoration on three major criteria: diversity, community
structure, and ecological processes. We conducted surveys of four restored
sites in the Florida Keys ranging in restoration effort (500–2,300 corals
outplanted) paired with surveys of nearby, unmanipulated control sites.
Coral restoration successfully enhanced coral populations, increasing coral
cover 4-fold, but manifested in limited differences in coral and fish
communities. Some restored sites had higher abundance of herbivorous fish,
rates of herbivory, or more juvenile-sized corals, but these effects were
limited to individual reefs. Damselfish were consistently more abundant at
restored compared to control sites. Despite augmenting target coral
populations, 3 years of coral restoration has not facilitated many of the
positive feedbacks that help reinforce coral success. In a time of
increasingly frequent disturbances, it is urgent we hasten the speed at
which reefs recover important ecological processes, such as herbivory and
nutrient cycling, that make reefs more resistant and resilient if we are to
achieve long-term restoration success."

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