Marine Biology


Forrester, Graham

Advisor Department

Natural Resources Science




Marine Biology; Coral; Meta-analysis


Numerous ecosystems throughout the world are declining and facing conservation challenges. A variety of techniques have been developed in response with active restoration being one of them. Active restoration usually involves planting vegetation in order to restore the area to its previous state. It has been used in multiple ecosystems including seagrasses, forests, and salt marshes. Coral reefs have experienced severe declines worldwide and active restoration has been utilized to help combat their decline. It is generally done by collecting healthy fragments of coral and either transplanting them directly to a declining reef or placing them on a nursery allowing them time to grow and then transplanting them. The effectiveness of using nurseries in an active restoration has been the subject of debate with some arguing they are unnecessary and others rebutting they decrease mortality of fragments upon transplantation. To date, I know of no quantitative analysis done examining the efficacy of using a nursery in a coral reef active restoration. In this project I conducted a metaanalysis of published coral active restorations to examine the effectiveness of using a nursery compared to directly transplanting coral fragments. Mortality data was extracted from usable papers and the mortality of coral fragments that were directly transplanted to a reef was compared to that of fragments that were placed on a nursery and then transplanted to a reef. By examining the effectiveness of using a nursery, restoration practices will be better informed and improved.