Coral gardening is benefitting Caribbean reefs

A new study finds that Caribbean staghorn corals are benefiting from coral gardening.

The research, led by scientists at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and partners,  has found that coral gardening, the process of restoring coral populations by planting laboratory-raised coral fragments on reefs, is clearly benefitting the coral population.

According to a report by the Environmental News Network,  the implications of this study are massive considering the worldwide decline of coral reefs due to multiple stressors such as climate change and ocean pollution.

The study set out to document the restoration success during their initial two years at several coral restoration sites in Florida and Puerto Rico. The findings prove that current restoration methods are not causing excess damage to donor colonies and that once out planted, corals behave just as wild colonies do.

UM Rosenstiel school coral biologist Stephanie Schopmeyer, the lead author of the study, said, “Our study showed that current restoration methods are very effective. Healthy coral reefs are essential to our everyday life and successful coral restoration has been proven as a recovery tool for lost coastal resources.”

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