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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 436:161-168 (2011)  -  DOI:

Corals mass-cultured from eggs and transplanted as juveniles to their native, remote coral reef

R. Nakamura1,*, W. Ando1, H. Yamamoto2, M. Kitano2, A. Sato3, M. Nakamura3, H. Kayanne4, M. Omori5

1Fisheries Infrastructure Development Center, 2-14-5 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0045, Japan
2ECOH Corporation, 2-6-4 Kita-Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo 110-0014, Japan
3Fisheries Infrastructure Department, Fisheries Agency, 1-2-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8907, Japan
4Department of Earth and Planetary Science, University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan
5Akajima Marine Science Laboratory, 179 Aka, Zamami-son, Okinawa 901-3311, Japan

ABSTRACT: We attempted to develop practical methods for coral reef rehabilitation, by means of the production of juveniles obtained from sexual reproduction, for a remote island where recruitment is limited. Adult corals (broodstocks) of Acropora tenuis were transported 1100 km from Okinotorishima, Japan’s southernmost island in the Pacific, to a hatchery in Okinawa and maintained in land tanks. Eggs were obtained from captive spawning and the resulting larvae and juvenile corals were cultured under laboratory conditions. The present methodology enabled high survivorship and led to the successful mass production of coral juveniles. A total of 564 substrates with ~63000 juvenile corals at the age of 10 mo were transported to the native reef. They were then transplanted in 3 experimental treatments, in order to evaluate effectiveness of protection by cages and/or hiding the juveniles under other substrates. Additionally, the effects of orientation on coral growth were tested by attaching the juveniles face down. The cages effectively protected the corals from predation and nibbling by fishes. The unshaded, upward facing corals in the cages steadily increased their coverage nearly 4-fold in ~2 yr.

KEY WORDS: Acropora · Sexual reproduction · Coral culture · Reef rehabilitation · Transplantation

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Cite this article as: Nakamura R, Ando W, Yamamoto H, Kitano M and others (2011) Corals mass-cultured from eggs and transplanted as juveniles to their native, remote coral reef. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 436:161-168.

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