Populations of Acropora palmata , a keystone reef-building coral in the Caribbean, have decreased significantly since the 1970s. Although some populations still spawn, no significant recruitment of juveniles has been observed throughout the Caribbean, hence rehabilitation of denuded reefs to aid recovery is urgently needed. Here, we present the results of seeding one-polyp stage A. palmata sexual recruits on a degraded, former A. palmata reef. Two weeks after settlement, we introduced 500 SUs (=SExual COral REproduction Seeding Unit, SECORE SU) on 120 m2 of degraded reef in Picudas, Puerto Morelos, Mexico. Larvae for this assay were obtained in August 2015 after collecting gametes from a spawning event in a nearby reef. The rehabilitation area was divided into 1 m width transects and SUs were wedged in natural crevices formed by the reef framework at a density of 4 SUs per m2 without the use of concrete or fixative. To evaluate SU performance as well as recruit survival and growth, 60 quadrants were chosen randomly and will be monitored for one year. Preliminary results show that two months after the seeding effort, 80% of the SUs remained in the area at a density of 3 SUs per m2 with approximately 82% of the SUs having more than 10 recruits/SU. These results indicate the potential of rehabilitating A. palmata reefs using SUs with sexual recruits. Additionally, the reduction in pre- and post-settlement care significantly decreases costs and labor.


Guendulain García, S. D., Unidad Academia de Sistemas Arrecifales, ICMyL, UNAM, Mexico, sergio.guendulain@gmail.com

Banaszak, A. T., Unidad Academia de Sistemas Arrecifales, ICMyL, UNAM, Mexico, banaszak@cmarl.unam.mx

Gómez Campo , K., Unidad Academia de Sistemas Arrecifales, ICMyL, UNAM, Mexico, kellygomezcampo@gmail.com

Mendoza Quiroz, S., Posgrado Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología, UNAM, Mexico, mq_13sandy@hotmail.com

Ávila Pech, E. A., Programa Biología Marina, Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, Mexico, eduardoavilapech@gmail.com

Schutter , M., Unidad Academia de Sistemas Arrecifales, ICMyL, UNAM, Mexico, miriam.schutter@gmail.com

Petersen, D., SECORE International, Germany, d.petersen@secore.org


Oral presentation

Session #:42B
Date: 06/23/2016
Time: 14:15
Location: 301 B

Presentation is given by student: No