SOEST News, first published July 3, 2023
Resource managers and conservationists have been offered an innovative, new approach to selecting coral species for reef restoration. In a study published in Journal of Applied Ecology, an international team of scientists, led by a University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa researcher, revealed a strategy for choosing a set of key coral species that will best maintain ecosystem functions critical for reef health.
“The ecosystem services that coral reefs provide for people, such as coastal protection and fisheries, depend upon coral species with a broad range of what are called life history strategies, for example slow to fast growing, mounding to branching shapes, and under to upper storey,” said Joshua Madin, study lead author and research professor at the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology in the UH Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST). “Therefore, restoration practitioners need to consider this range of local species when restoring coral reefs—much like forest restoration requires more than just fast-growing plants.”
The scientists worked together to develop this approach during a workshop organized by the University of Melbourne (U Melbourne) and the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS).
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