Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New South Florida Nursery To Focus On Staghorn Corals

Date:
November 20, 2007
Source:
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science
Summary:
In response to the need for efforts to protect and recover surviving populations of the threatened staghorn coral, marine biologists have established an underwater nursery dedicated to the propagation of staghorn corals. The nursery will provide an opportunity to learn about growth and survivorship patterns, as well as how to stabilize corals damaged by natural disturbances or human activity.

Fragment of staghorn coral illustrates the fast re-growth of the species between July and October 2007.
Credit: James Herlan

In response to the need for localized efforts to protect and recover the surviving populations of the threatened staghorn coral, Diego Lirman, Ph.D., and James Herlan, researchers from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS) have established an underwater nursery dedicated to the propagation of staghorn corals.

Related Articles


The goals of the coral nursery are to develop effective coral fragmentation and propagation methodologies, and to evaluate the role of coral genetics on the resilience of this species to disturbance. A total of 250 fragments of staghorn coral have been collected to date, and placed on cement platforms where they are individually measured at monthly intervals to assess growth and mortality patterns.

It is expected that the staghorn fragments kept in the nursery will provide an expanding coral stock to be used in future reef restoration, as well as in scientific experiments.

Until recently, branching Elkhorn (Acropora palmata) and Staghorn (Acropora cervicornis) corals were among the most abundant reef-building corals in Caribbean and Florida reefs. However, in the last few decades a drastic regional decline of this genus has been recorded due mainly to elevated temperatures, coral diseases, and the impact of hurricanes.

This region-wide decline, which has resulted in losses of up to 95 percent of colonies at several locations, has prompted the listing of these species as "threatened" under the U.S. Endangered Species Act in 2006.

"The fast growth rate of this particular coral species (up to 15 cm per year) makes it an ideal candidate for reef restoration programs," said Dr. Lirman, RSMAS assistant research professor and director of the coral nursery. "Faced with declining coral populations worldwide, we have to explore all available options to protect and expand surviving populations of these resources which are vital to the overall health of our reef systems. Coral nurseries provide a unique opportunity to learn about coral growth and survivorship patterns, as well as how to stabilize corals damaged by natural physical disturbances or through human activity."

The new underwater nursery, located in the waters of Biscayne National Park, is part of a network of Acropora nurseries established with support from The Nature Conservancy, NOAA, and the National Park Service. Additional staghorn nurseries are presently located in Broward County, and in the Upper and Middle Florida Keys.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science. "New South Florida Nursery To Focus On Staghorn Corals." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 November 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071115091500.htm>.
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science. (2007, November 20). New South Florida Nursery To Focus On Staghorn Corals. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071115091500.htm
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science. "New South Florida Nursery To Focus On Staghorn Corals." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071115091500.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Lava Inches Closer to Highway

Raw: Lava Inches Closer to Highway

AP (Dec. 21, 2014) Officials have opened a new road on Hawaii's Big Island for drivers to take care of their daily needs if encroaching lava from Kilauea Volcano crosses a highway and cuts them off from the rest of the island. (Dec. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scuba Diving Santa Off Florida Keys

Raw: Scuba Diving Santa Off Florida Keys

AP (Dec. 20, 2014) A scuba diving Santa Claus explored the waters of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Dive shop owner Spencer Slate makes the dive each year to help raise money for charity. (Dec. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: Better Ways to Create Jobs Than Keystone Pipeline

Obama: Better Ways to Create Jobs Than Keystone Pipeline

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) US President Barack Obama says that construction of the Keystone pipeline would have 'very little impact' on US gas prices and believes there are 'more direct ways' to create construction jobs. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Lava on Track to Hit Hawaii Market

Raw: Lava on Track to Hit Hawaii Market

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) Lava from an active volcano on Hawaii's Big Island slowed slightly but stayed on track to hit a shopping center in the small town of Pahoa. (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins