from scientists and students Miami University They ventured into dark water a few miles off the coast of Miami this week as part of an effort to develop a hybrid reef.
The team from the Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric and Earth Science was on a mission to collect eggs and sperm from staghorn corals, which they hope to use to fertilize other strains of staghorn corals in a laboratory.
All of this is part of a $7.5 million federal grant from the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to help address security threats to military and civilian infrastructure, along with vulnerable people. Coastal Areas in Florida and the Caribbean.
The Miami-based project seeks to protect coastal bases from damaging storm surges by using hybrid reefs.
“Our mission is to develop hybrid reefs that combine the wave-protection benefits of artificial structures with the ecological benefits of coral reefs,” said Andrew Baker, professor and director of the Coral Reef Futures Lab at the Rosenstiel School. “We will work on the next generation of structural designs and solid materials, and integrate them with novel ecological engineering approaches to help fuel the growth of corals on these structures.”
They will also test new adaptive biology approaches to produce corals that are growing faster and more resilient to a hot climateThey said.
Coral spawns only a few nights each year, depending on water temperature And the lunar cycle, coral colonies simultaneously release their eggs and sperm into the water column, which fertilize each other to form baby corals.