Guide to Translocating Coral Fragments for Deep-sea Restoration

Corals in rocky deep-sea environments are foundation species postulated to enhance local diversity by increasing biogenic habitat heterogeneity and enriching local carbon cycling. However, deep-sea corals are highly vulnerable to disturbances (e.g., trawling, mining, and pollution) and are threatened by expansive changes in ocean conditions linked to climate change (e.g., acidification, warming, and deoxygenation). Once damaged by trawling or other disturbances, recolonization and regrowth of deep-sea corals may require centuries or longer, highlighting the need for their stewardship. To this end, the sustainability of deep-sea corals may be enhanced not only by protecting existing communities, but also by repopulating disturbed areas using active restoration methods.

Key Words

deep-sea coral restoration, Corallium sp., Lillipathes sp., Swiftia kofoidi, Keratoisis sp., Isidella tentaculum, Paragorgia arborea, Sibogagorgia cauliflora, translocation module for coral fragments