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In Situ Coral Nurseries Serve as Genetic Repositories for Coral Reef Restoration After an Extreme Cold-Water Event
Restoration Ecology
  • S. Schopmeyer, University of Miami
  • Diego Lirman, University of Miami
  • Erich Bartels, Mote Marine Laboratory
  • James Byrne, The Nature Conservancy - Florida
  • David S. Gilliam, Nova Southeastern University
  • John Hunt, Florida Marine Research Institute
  • Meaghan E. Johnson, Nova Southeastern University
  • Elizabeth Anne Larson, Nova Southeastern University
  • Kerry Maxwell, Florida Marine Research Institute
  • Ken Nedimyer, Coral Restoration Foundation
  • Cory Walter, Mote Marine Laboratory
Document Type
Publication Date
  • Acropora,
  • Coral nurseries,
  • Coral restoration,
  • Florida,
  • Mortality,
  • Thermal stress
During an unusual cold-water event in January 2010, reefs along the Florida Reef Tract suffered extensive coral mortality, especially in shallow reef habitats in close proximity to shore and with connections to coastal bays. The threatened staghorn coral, Acropora cervicornis, is the focus of propagation and restoration activities in Florida and one of the species that exhibited high susceptibility to low temperatures. Complete mortality of wild staghorn colonies was documented at 42.9% of donor sites surveyed after the cold event. Remarkably, 72.7% of sites with complete A. cervicornis mortality had fragments surviving within in situ coral nurseries. Thus, coral nurseries served as repositories for genetic material that would have otherwise been completely lost from donor sites. The location of the coral nurseries at deeper habitats and distanced from shallow nearshore habitats that experienced extreme temperature conditions buffered the impacts of the cold-water event and preserved essential local genotypes for future Acropora restoration activities.

©2011 Society for Ecological Restoration International

Additional Comments
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act award #: NA09NFF4630332
Citation Information
S. Schopmeyer, Diego Lirman, Erich Bartels, James Byrne, et al.. "In Situ Coral Nurseries Serve as Genetic Repositories for Coral Reef Restoration After an Extreme Cold-Water Event" Restoration Ecology Vol. 20 Iss. 6 (2012) p. 696 - 703 ISSN: 1061-2971
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