Scientists Attempt Reef Restoration During Coral Mating Season

May 18, 2008 06:00 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
When coral colonies in the Pacific Ocean release egg and sperm during their annual mating season, scientists will take spawn for an experimental technique called coral seeding.

30-Second Summary

April’s full moon marks the beginning of a short mating season for the coral colonies that line the Republic of Palau. At night, the coral emit eggs and sperm into the water. The fertilized eggs become coral larvae, and a small portion will return to the bottom of the ocean and become part of the reef.

Scientists are taking advantage of this event by taking some of the coral from the reef and collecting the larvae formed by its emissions. They will use the spawns from this mating event to promote growth in suffering reef populations.

Many coral reefs, especially in the Caribbean, are dying off due to global warming and other damage inflicted by humans. The experimental procedure of coral seeding aims to promote growth in ailing reefs by adding reef balls populated with baby coral from healthy colonies.

Headline Link: ‘Catching corals’ spectacular moment’

Background Link: Global warming damages coral reefs

Related Links: Hope for coral reefs

Reference: What is coral bleaching?


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