Volume 69

Defining Success for Active Acroporid Restoration:Results from Ten Years of Work in Southern Belize

Carne, L., L. Kaufman, and K. Scavo
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Date: November, 2016

Pages: 82 - 84

Event: Proceedings of the Sixty eigth Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: Grand Cayman

Country: Cayman Islands


Since the Caribbean acroporids were listed by the IUCN as ‘Critically Endangered’, coral restoration efforts have become numerous and accepted widely as an active management tool (Lirman and Schopmeyer 2016) but still lack a realistic sense of scale, agreed upon goals and success indicators. Most publications focus on nurseries themselves; culture methods, survival and growth rates, and often a single Acroporid species. Here we share survival rates on Acropora palmata transplants ten years old, and over 59,000 nursery grown acroporids (all three taxa) outplanted in over one hectare of degraded reef at Laughing Bird Caye National Park (LBCNP) in southern Belize 2010-2016. Our best quantitative data on scale (coverage), longevity (survival of outplanted corals) and evidence of sexual reproduction of nursery-grown, ouplanted acroporids were recently submitted for the ICRS 2016 Proceedings (Carne et al. 2016, In review). We highlight these again but here emphasize our current and future plans to examine other consequences of replenishing reef sites with foundation species such as the acroporids in broader terms of ecosystem restoration: looking at not only at abundance and diversity of fishes, but also crustaceans, sponges and other benthic assemblages such as crustose coralline algae. Further, we suggest that our unprecedented high long term survival rates for outplanted corals is a factor of both working in a well managed No Take Zone (LBCNP) and long-term community involvement.

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