The direct and indirect effects of global warming, such as the ocean acidity and the Great Cooking Event, have resulted in large-scale and permanent damage to the Great Barrier Reef. Large fragments of the reef have zero realization of natural restoration, so an intervention has been devised to rectify what people have done to this World Heritage site.
The aim of the Larval Recovery Project is to resettle populations in damaged rocks and ensure that coral reproductive lifecycles are healthy. The team will harvest sperm and choral sperm and grow new larvae that will then be released in the most damaged areas of reef. The effort will start this weekend in the Arlington Reef area, which has located just off the coast of Cairns in Queensland.
"This is the first time that the whole process of large scale larvae and settlement will be done directly on reefs on the Great Barrier Reef," said project leader Professor Peter Harrison of Southern Cross University , in a statement. "Our team will restore hundreds of square meters with the goal of reaching a square kilometer in the future, a scale that was not attempted previously."
The Harrison team has piloted this regeneration approach on smaller scales in the Philippines, as well as Heron and Woodland Islands in the southern Southern Barrier Barrier. If this bigger attempt is so successful, it could be employed elsewhere in the world.
A particularly interesting innovation of this experiment is a small algae culture of the name zooxanthellae, which lives in many tissue tissue. The coral and the microalgae have mutual relationships. The coral protects the algae and provides it with nutrients. Algae produce oxygen and remove coral waste.
"These microalgae and symbiosis with chorales are essential to healthy coral reef communities," explained Professor David Suggett's colleague, from Sydney University of Technology. "So we aim to track this process quickly to see if so many algae can be increased to survive and the early growth of young chorals."
The project is a collaboration between Harrison, Suggett, Katie Chartrand from the James Cook University, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, as well as other key industry partners. The intervention is a big step but it should not be seen as a way to save the reef. This manages damage.
Our approach to reef restoration aims to buy time for coral populations to survive and evolve until emissions are capped and that our climate stabilizes, "says Professor Harrison." Climate action is & # 39; The only way to make cora reefs can survive the future. "