Biological restoration focuses on restoring the biota and associated ecological processes of the reef environment. This type of restoration should always be considered in the context of the overall environment of the site being restored, both the physical and biotic environment and the human and management environment.
Large-scale restoration can be considered a two-step process, including:
- Rearing coral “seedlings” in a nursery to a size where they can be outplanted to receiving sites
- Transplantation of the seedlings to degraded reef areas
The following sections look at key aspects of active biological restoration and are based on the guidance provided in the Reef Rehabilitation Manual. Given the prevalence of coral transplantation in restoration projects, most of the discussion is devoted to this activity. Available options show promise in allowing practitioners to minimize damage involved in sourcing transplants and to maximize the effectiveness of the coral material used. These options range from the ways in which transplants are sourced to sexual and asexual propagation of corals in either ex situ (in aquaria) or in situ (in the sea) culture, and will be discussed in the pages that follow.
Edwards, A.J. (ed.) 2010. Reef Rehabilitation Manual (download pdf, 5,235k)
Edwards, A.J. and Gomez, E.D. 2007. Reef Restoration Concepts and Guidelines (download pdf, 2,337k)