Promoting Restoration, Education and
Protection, for the World's Coral Reefs

Coral Selection

Pre-collection considerations

Each site will provide different species of corals. However different species are more appropriate for some types of nurseries than for others. Coral selection should depend on a number of issues including:

What is the purpose of the nursery?
i. Is it to assess growth rates of different species?
ii. Is it to produce a fast yield or is that not applicable?
iii. Is it to grow corals for restocking damaged areas of reef?

Coral selection should also be based upon:
i. What is the similarity of depth and water conditions of the donor colonies
    compared with the location of the nursery?
ii. What is the selected coral specie's ability for natural fragmentation?
iii. Is the donor coral colony large enough to provide coral fragments without
    creating too much stress to the donor?
iv. What will be the final transplantation site once the coral fragments
    have completed the term in the nursery? Are the corals in the nursery suitable for the transplantation site?

Corals used

Acropora Formosa
Colonies are arborescent with cylindrical branches. Usually form thickets and measure over 10 meters across. Axial corralites are exsert. This is a common and frequently dominant species. Highly adaptable for the nursery.

Acropora Microphalma
This is a common species with colonies forming thickets up to 2 meters across. Branches are straight with sub branches at regular intervals. Prefers upper reef slopes, turbid waters and sandy lagoons.

Acropora table form
Unidentified species

Acropora Grandis
Similar to Acropora Formosa, branching, but does not have elongate radial corallites near the branch tips. Lives in a variety of environments with higher concentrates in upper reef slopes and lagoons.

Acropora Austere
This is a less common variety. Main branches often curve away from each other, with numerous sub branches, irregular in size. Comes in many colors but wide range of growth forms make it hard to identify.

Pocillopora Damicornis
Colonies are branching with compact clumps up to several meters across. This is one of the first coral species to settle on the substrate. It can withstand strong wave action and usually occurs in shallow reefs.

Montipora spp.
Colonies are submassive, laminar, encrusting or branching. It is common for a single Montipora colony to have more than one growth form. It is highly adaptable for the nursery.

Lobophyllia spp.
Colonies are phaceloid to flabello-meandroid, either flat topped or dome shaped. Slow growing although they have shown good signs of survival on the nursery.

Colonies are laminar to branching, preferring turbid water habitats especially on fringing reef and in crevices on reef slopes. Our specimens were ravaged by some kind of corallivore (most likely parrotfish or rabbitfish), so undeterminable if suitable for the nursery without further protective measures.
Note: All the coral species we used with exception to Pectinia, were suitable specimens to use on the nursery. Acropora, Pocillopora and Montipora showed the fastest growth rates.