Title

Goals and Projects of the Marine Larval Ecology and Recruitment Lab

Start

2-24-2022 3:30 PM

End

2-24-2022 3:45 PM

Type of Presentation

Oral Presentation

Abstract

The Marine Larval Ecology and Recruitment Laboratory, led by Dr. Joana Figueiredo, is focused on the spawning and rearing of Caribbean corals. In part with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, our main goals are inducing gonad maturation and coral spawning ex-situ, fertilizing and settling resultant larvae, and raising these sexual recruits in a land-based nursery. Using induction systems, we have been successful in spawning corals in the lab nearly synchronously with corals in the wild. Through these goals, we strive to maintain genotypes of coral species that are impacted by disease events to ensure the preservation of this vital ecosystem. Recently, we have evaluated the optimal time to outplant coral recruits from land-based nurseries to offshore nurseries to optimize growth and survival of newly settled corals, while reducing associated costs and labor. Current projects include examining how nutritional status affects the growth and survival of coral recruits and fragments in offshore nurseries. Additionally, we are evaluating how larvae age and the health of reefs will affect the growth and survival of newly settled corals. This will aid in establishing the optimal age to settle coral larvae, as well as evaluating which cues are important for successful settlement. By inoculating juvenile corals with symbiotic algae, we aim to determine the ideal species to facilitate the growth and survival of multiple species of corals. Furthermore, we are assessing the most efficient methods of controlling macroalgae near coral recruits, as this competition is a major constraint to post-settlement grow-out. These projects may reduce time and labor costs per coral recruit, allowing us to optimize and upscale both the ex-situ and in-situ restoration capabilities of our lab.

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Feb 24th, 3:30 PM Feb 24th, 3:45 PM

Goals and Projects of the Marine Larval Ecology and Recruitment Lab

The Marine Larval Ecology and Recruitment Laboratory, led by Dr. Joana Figueiredo, is focused on the spawning and rearing of Caribbean corals. In part with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, our main goals are inducing gonad maturation and coral spawning ex-situ, fertilizing and settling resultant larvae, and raising these sexual recruits in a land-based nursery. Using induction systems, we have been successful in spawning corals in the lab nearly synchronously with corals in the wild. Through these goals, we strive to maintain genotypes of coral species that are impacted by disease events to ensure the preservation of this vital ecosystem. Recently, we have evaluated the optimal time to outplant coral recruits from land-based nurseries to offshore nurseries to optimize growth and survival of newly settled corals, while reducing associated costs and labor. Current projects include examining how nutritional status affects the growth and survival of coral recruits and fragments in offshore nurseries. Additionally, we are evaluating how larvae age and the health of reefs will affect the growth and survival of newly settled corals. This will aid in establishing the optimal age to settle coral larvae, as well as evaluating which cues are important for successful settlement. By inoculating juvenile corals with symbiotic algae, we aim to determine the ideal species to facilitate the growth and survival of multiple species of corals. Furthermore, we are assessing the most efficient methods of controlling macroalgae near coral recruits, as this competition is a major constraint to post-settlement grow-out. These projects may reduce time and labor costs per coral recruit, allowing us to optimize and upscale both the ex-situ and in-situ restoration capabilities of our lab.