One of the most commonly used methods for active coral restoration is population enhancement. Population enhancement means to increase the abundance of a species within an area or region (a population of that species). Population enhancement of corals is a valuable tool that can help corals naturally recover on local reef sites. These efforts can include one or many coral species depending on specific program goals.

If successful, population enhancement goes beyond simply adding coral colonies to reefs. The increase in abundance of corals on reefs increases the health of the ecosystem, creates essential habitat, increases reef complexity, and benefits local people through increased tourism revenue and shoreline protection. However, several considerations should be made before attempting population enhancement that can promote the success of your program. This section covers two types of coral population enhancement methods:

Staghorn Corals in Cane Bay, St. Croix. Photo © Kemit-Amon Lewis/TNC

If successful, population enhancement goes beyond simply adding coral colonies to reefs.

Last updated October 20, 2017

Coral Propagation

Coral fragments are collected from wild donor colonies or corals of opportunity, reared in nurseries, and outplanted onto reefs. Learn more.

Monitoring

Monitoring corals during the nursery and outplanting stages also allows managers to assess how their program is doing relative to well-established and successful coral gardening programs. Learn more.

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