QE: The use of sexually propagated scleractinian corals for reef restoration (Toh Tai Chong, 30 Nov 2011: 4.00pm)

Department of Biological Sciences, NUS
Qualifying Examination

Speaker:           Toh Tai Chong (Graduate Student, Dept.of Biological Sciences, NUS)
Date:                30 Nov 2011, Wednesday
Time:                4pm
Venue:             Seminar Room 1 (S2 Level 4, #04-11)
Supervisors:    Prof Chou Loke Ming, Dr James R Guest


Coral reefs are one of the most productive ecosystems, providing $375 billion in ecosystem goods and services for over 500 million people globally. However, increasing anthropogenic pressures coupled with global climate change have resulted in rapid degradation of coral reefs. While active restoration efforts can hasten the recovery process, the science underlying reef restoration is still in its infancy. Recent developments in reef restoration have explored the use of sexually propagated scleractinian corals, but most studies were limited to small-scale experiments. Hence, this study aims to assess and improve the feasibility of this technique for reef restoration.

In the first part of the study, two species of massive corals were reared from larvae and transplanted to reefs in Bolinao, Northwestern Philippines. The technical and economic feasibility of this technique will be evaluated through ongoing monitoring efforts and cost-effective analysis.

The second aspect aims to increase the post settlement survivorship of corals by examining the effects of co-rearing Pocilliopora damicornis recruits with two grazers, Salmacis sphaeroides and Trochus maculatus ex situ, to limit the proliferation of fouling algae.

Future studies will involve the feeding of juvenile Pocillopora damicornis corals with live Artemia salina nauplii, to examine the effects of inducing initial growth spurts on pre- and post- transplantation survivorship of the corals. Results from this study will fill key knowledge gaps in coral biology and enhance the feasibility of applying larval rearing techniques to large-scale reef restoration efforts.



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