Webinar of the Week: Reef Restoration through Coral Gardening in the Caribbean

This week’s webinar is from Rosenstiel School student Christina Vilmar. Christina presented “Reef Restoration through Coral Gardening in the Caribbean,” in Dr. Neil Hammerschlag’s Conservation Biology class.

Recently, coral gardening has been gaining attention as an effective tool for reef restoration to enhance natural coral recovery and rehabilitate degraded reefs. Coral gardening is the process of collecting coral biomass (generally by breaking off fragments), growing fragments in a nursery, and outplanting the reared corals on reefs. One study showed 1.4-1.8 times more coral produced from coral gardening than undisturbed control colonies and demonstrated that collection of fragments did not significantly damage the donor.

Watch Christina’s presentation on Acropora, a Caribbean coral that serves as a major reef builder providing essential habitats. Since the 1980’s, Acropora has experienced a 80-90% decline.

– Andrew DeChellis
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