Very encouraging news for the world’s depleted coral reefs thanks to scientists who successfully reproduced endangered corals in a laboratory setting for the first time.
The majestic beauty of the biodiversity in ocean’s coral reefs is under threat from the climate crisis. Viruses and bacteria that are hostile to corals have found the world’s warming waters as a nurturing breeding ground. Add to that a spike in marine heat waves and corals around the world are under attack from all sides. They are bleaching and dying at unprecedented rates and the animals that call coral reef home are losing their habitat.
Fortunately, the breakthrough at the Florida Aquarium in Tampa may have broad and beneficial implications for the Florida Reef Tract — the third largest reef in the world, which is right off the coast of the Florida Keys, as well as other endangered coral reefs in other parts of the world.
Project Coral tackled the exceedingly complex task of creating an environment that will mimic the oceanic conditions and signal corals to reproduce. To get the Atlantic pillar coral (Dendrogyra cylindrus) to spawn, the scientists at the aquarium used advanced LED technology to mimic sunrises, sunsets, moon phases, temperature and water quality to create spawning conditions.