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Coral transplantation a chance for the Great Reef? - video

As a result of climate change on Earth, many coral reefs have been hard hit. Rising sea and ocean temperatures have negatively affected corals, which have suffered the fading process that preceded reef extinction. The situation is no different for Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, but scientists seem to have found a way to save this
Published: December 13, 2017 - 16:00
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 16:10
Coral transplantation a chance for the Great Reef? – video

As a result of climate change on Earth, many coral reefs have been hard hit. Rising sea and ocean temperatures have negatively affected corals, which have suffered the fading process that preceded reef extinction. The situation is no different for Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, but scientists seem to have found a way to save this natural wonder.

Scientists investigating new experimental techniques to save corals may have finally found an effective way to save the planet’s reefs. During a mass spawning event around Heron Island, located within the Great Reef, they collected coral reproductive cells and then provided stable conditions for them to grow in aquaria. The final step was to transplant the cultured corals back to the reef.

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When the researchers returned a year later to see the results of their experiment, they found that some of the transplanted corals had accepted and adapted, continuing to grow further. They also noticed that the higher density of young larvae, had a beneficial effect on the better uptake of the transplanted fragments.

[blockquote style=”2″]”This is the first project of its kind on the Great Barrier Reef where new corals have been successfully transplanted and adapted. This is a very exciting moment. We are seeing a rebirth of the reef,” said project leader Prof Peter Harrison of Southern Cross University.[/blockquote]

Corals are actually colonies of marine invertebrates, made up of thousands of identical polyps. Although protected on the outside by a tough exoskeleton, they are actually ecosystems that are extremely sensitive to climate change.

Scientists working on the technique of transplanting reef fragments hope that their latest development will help save and rebuild the Great Barrier Reef, but also other reefs around the globe that have been affected by rising temperatures or powerful hurricanes that have hit coastlines.

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The success of the project by Southern Cross University has led the Australian government to invest even more in developing a new method and fighting to save one of its greatest treasures – the Great Barrier Reef.

Unfortunately, it takes a long time to research and observe the effects of the new method. To grow a coral the size of a large plate from a larva, about 3 years are needed. So we can imagine how long it will take to rebuild entire coral reefs. Fortunately, we can talk about a breakthrough and a slow but steady march in the right direction.

Source: radionz.co.nz, Photo: Gary Cranitch/Queensland Museum

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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