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BREAKING NEWS: OUTPLANTED ELKHORN SEEN SPAWNING FOR THE FIRST TIME ON FLORIDA’S CORAL REEF

On the evening of August 5th, 2020, a team from University of Miami, supporting NOAA-led research, observed outplanted elkhorn coral spawning on the Florida Reef Tract.


Outplanted elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata) spawning on Florida's Coral Reef. Video copyright: Dana Williams/University of Miami



  • A team led by University of Miami Associate Scientist Dana Williams witnessed elkhorn corals propagated by Coral Restoration Foundation™ spawning on Florida's Coral Reef.

  • This is the first time that nursery-raised, outplanted elkhorn corals have been observed spawning in the Keys.

  • The colonies that spawned comprised two different genotypes.

  • These colonies were introduced to the reef site in 2015, as part of a NOAA SEFSC experiment, supported by Coral Restoration Foundation™.

  • The team collected and successfully cross-fertilized the two elkhorn genets that spawned.

  • For the time being, these new coral larvae will be homed at University of Miami.

  • No spawning was observed in the wild elkhorn colonies that were monitored.

  • CRF™ divers also witnessed another record – 14-month-old staghorn outplants also spawned, CRF's youngest outplants to be observed to reach sexual maturity. Read more on that story here.

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