Saving coral: New guidelines to protect and preserve Caribbean coral

Photo Credit: Ohio State University

By Ohio State University

A consortium of coral experts today published new guidelines that could help corals in the Caribbean adapt to warmer, more acidic waters caused by climate change. The guidelines are the first of their kind to offer a definitive plan for collecting, raising and replanting corals in an attempt to maximize their chances for survival.

The guidelines, authored by the restorations genetics working group of the Coral Restoration Consortium, were published online this week in the journal Ecological Applications. The consortium is a group of scientists, restoration practitioners, educators and concerned members of the public.

“What we’re proposing in this paper are short-term solutions to try and fill the gap between now and when we start mitigating climate change, so that we can maintain ecosystem function over the next few decades,” said Andréa Grottoli, professor of Earth Sciences at The Ohio State University and a co-author of the study.

“Coral restoration involves a lot of time, so the extent to which we can restore reefs is limited by time, effort, money, people and hours. What we are proposing are guidelines to think about which species we focus on preserving and growing, to give the reefs the best chance at long-term survival.”

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