Laboratory-bred corals reproduce in the wild

Researchers have, for the first time, successfully raised laboratory-bred colonies of a threatened Caribbean coral species to sexual maturity. Due to its large size and branching shape, elkhorn corals created vast forests in shallow reef waters that protect shores from incoming storms and provide a critical habitat for a myriad of other reef organisms, including ecologically and economically important fish species. An estimated 80% of all Caribbean corals have disappeared over the last four decades and repopulating degraded reefs has since become a management priority throughout the Caribbean region. The elkhorn coral was one of the species whose decline was so severe that it was one of the first coral species to be listed as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species act in 2006. —> Read More