The establishment of large numbers of ramets from any individual coral genet can be used as a valuable source of material for the trade in ornamental marine organisms and in physiological and ecotoxicological studies. Here we discuss the rationale and the applicability of rearing ex situ large numbers of nubbins (minute fragments, down to the size of a single polyp). Nubbins taken from colonies of the branching Red Sea coral Stylophora pistillata show high survivorship under ex situ conditions and fast growth rates (5- to 6-fold increase in polyp numbers within 3 months) of the basal plates which revealed a significant correlation between tissue surface area and polyp numbers. Nubbins from branch tips and mid branches grew at a similar rate, but growth was affected by different light regimens. This approach requires further experimentation to elucidate optimal conditions.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study is part of the research carried out at the Minerva Center for Marine Invertebrates Immunology and Developmental Biology and was also supported by the US-AID-CDR.
- Ex situ culture
- Reef conservation
- Stylophora pistillata
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nature and Landscape Conservation