The present essay reviews past decade’s (1994-2004) approaches and advances in coral reef restoration. While direct coral transplantation is still the primer vehicle of operations used, the concept of in situ and ex situ coral nurseries (the gardening concept), where coral materials (nubbins, branches, spats) are maricultured to a size suitable for transplantation, has been gaining recognition. The use of nubbins (down to the size of a single or few polyps) has been suggested and employed as a unique technique for mass production of coral colonies. Restoration of ship grounding sites and the use of artificial reefs have become common tools for specific restoration needs. Substrate stabilization, 3-D structural consideration of developing colonies, and the use of molecular/biochemical tools are part of novel technology approaches developed in the past decade.
Environmental Science and Technology