Abstract


LARGE-SCALE MASS CORAL LARVAL RESEEDING ENHANCES CORAL RECRUITMENT FOR REEF RESTORATION

Scleractinian reef corals are foundation species on coral reefs but are increasingly threatened by chronic anthropogenic stressors interacting with natural perturbations, resulting in the degradation of coral and reef communities in many reef regions globally. Coral populations are naturally resilient through sexual reproduction and recruitment of juveniles and can recover from many natural disturbances given sufficient time and absence of large or chronic disturbances. However, where larval supply is limited, natural recruitment rates may be too slow or variable to restore coral populations within appropriate timescales, therefore active restoration processes need to be considered. Synchronous coral spawning events provide access to millions of larvae that can be used for mass larval rearing and settlement on degraded but recoverable reef areas. Most previous larval 'reseeding' studies have been done using small enclosures, whereas large-scale active interventions are needed to be ecologically meaningful. This study uses larger-scale mesh enclosures to contain millions of coral larvae after spawning during their embryo and larval development and subsequent settlement period on degraded reef areas in the northwestern Philippines. Use of large-scale mesh enclosures to rear millions of coral larvae combined with in situ settlement can significantly enhance initial settlement rates and stimulate coral recruitment on degraded but recoverable reef areas, thereby initiating reef restoration.

Authors

Harrison, P. L., Southern Cross University, Australia, peter.harrison@scu.edu.au

dela Cruz, D. W., Southern Cross University, Australia, d.delacruz.10@student.scu.edu.au

Cameron, K. A., Southern Cross University, Australia, kerry.cameron@environment.gov.au

Cabaitan, P. C., University of the Philippines, Philippines, pcabaitan@yahoo.com

Aliño, P. M., University of the Philippines, Philippines, alinoperry018@gmail.com

Details

Oral presentation

Session #:42B
Date: 06/23/2016
Time: 14:45
Location: 301 B

Presentation is given by student: No