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.