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‘A beautiful milestone’: coral grown in Great Barrier Reef nursery spawns for first time

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‘A beautiful milestone’: coral grown in Great Barrier Reef nursery spawns for first time

Researchers hope corals grown from fragments that had survived bleaching will tolerate future marine heatwaves.

Corals grown in an offshore “coral nursery” at Fitzroy Island on the Great Barrier Reef have spawned for the first time, four years after being planted.

A team at the Reef Restoration Foundation has observed Acropora corals, each about 1 metre in diameter, spawning at the island’s Welcome Bay nursery site.

Foundation marine biologists and volunteers grew several species of branching and bushy corals on underwater frames that were then planted in patches of bare reef in 2018.

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