Coral Line by: Louis, Nikolas, Viggo Beecham

Coral Type: Staghorn

Coral species: Acropora muricata

Note:  6 months: One of only two lines in the nursery containing this species, and for both line 010 and this one we can see quite a high mortality rate. The reason for this is ‘white syndrome’, a coral disease which seems particularly prevalent in this and other fast growing species. It is possible the fast growing coral species have a trade off between immune system strength and growth rate. Their ability to cope with disease may be drastically decreased due to more energy being put into skeletal extension.

2 year update: Unfortunately this species was one of the most hard hit during the El Nino induced bleaching event in 2016. On the reef, this species was almost wiped out locally, and in the nursery it fared very poorly. You will see from the 2 year image below that most of your colonies died, however there are parts that survived (see right). These will be used to plant new lines and will hopefully spawn, producing new genetic material which is as resilient as they were during the bleaching event. You will notice the living parts are underneath the line- this is because they were shaded when bleached. Whilst bleached, corals lose some of their protection from harmful UV – We expect it was the intense sunlight whilst bleaching occurred that caused the mortality for the rest of the line. This is useful information for us, because we know now that shading the nursery more effectively during bleaching periods could save a lot of coral. Luckily, this is a fast growing species, so we hope to see recovery quite quickly. For more information visit our bleaching page.