Tue, May 09, 2017 - Page 4 News List

Two coral species could be artificially grown to repopulate Taiwan’s reefs

By Tsai Tsung-hsien and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Pocillopora damicornis and Seriatopora hystrix, commonly known as lace coral and thin birdsnest coral, could be used to artificially repopulate reefs in the region, the National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium said.

Museum researcher Fan Tung-yung (樊同雲) said the two species, common to the waters off Pingtung County’s Kenting (墾丁), were usually subject to vast temperature changes caused by tidal forces.

During the new moon and the full moon, periodic surges of cold water from the open ocean flow into the tropical, warm waters closer to the shore, causing a temperature difference of 10?C, Fan said.

The two species have demonstrated the ability to adapt to the fluctuations and regulate their reproductive cycles, Fan said.

The two species were able to reproduce year-round, rather than only at a certain time like most coral species, Fan said.

The museum also found that birdsnest corals were easier to grow artificially because of their long average grow time and ability to reproduce year round, Fan said.

Fan said the results have been published in international journals, adding that research is in response to coral bleaching around Taiwan and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

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