Seminar Details

Active reef restoration: Why not use it now?




Prof. Buki Rinkevich - Israel Oceanographic & Limnological Research, Haifa


The continuous degradation of coral reef ecosystems on a global level, the disheartening expectations of a gloomy future for reefs’ statuses, the failure of traditional conservation acts to revive most of the degrading reefs and the understanding that it is unlikely that future reefs will return to historic conditions, all call for novel management approaches. Among the most effective approaches is the “gardening” concept of active reef restoration, centered, as in silviculture, on a two-step restoration process (nursery and transplantation). In the almost two decades that passed from its first presentation, the “gardening” tenet was tested in a number of coral reefs worldwide, revealing that it may reshape coral reef communities (and associated biota) in such a way that novel reef ecosystems with novel functionalities that did not exist before are developed. Moreover, considering global change impacts, the “gardening” approach has been tested as a climate change mediator, supported by novel ecosystem engineering management approaches, including tiling the reef approach, genetics/epigenetics approaches (including coral chimerism), the use of coral nurseries as repositories for coral/reef species, as others. Employing the “gardening” concept and practices at present coral reefs’ states will enhance the ability of coral reef organisms to adaptably respond to future anthropogenic and climate change challenges.

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