BABY CORALS NEEDS HEALTHY CORAL REEF TO SETTLE.
Coral reefs and crevices create complex underwater structures. When turbulence is generated by these hard structures, it creates eddies that catch the coral larvae. Because coral larvae are poor swimmer, and are not able to suitable settlement sites on their own, depend on the structures that help shape these eddies, otherwise they are basically lost at sea, with no chance to settle and grow up.
Nowadays, coral reefs around the globe suffer from repeated environmental disturbances, which are only compounded with climate change. According to coral reef experts, maintaining structural complexity of scales on reefs is vitally important in terms of aiding reef recovery. Relevant management actions include limiting factors that reduce complexity, such as destructive fishing practices, and promoting factors that enhance complexity, as algae-eating fish to the area to prevent algae from growing and smothering corals.
- Photo: A Flabellum thouarsii coral larvae, showing tentacles and a mouth, by Susie Blaser.
- Reference (Open Access): Hata et al., 2017.
Coral larvae are poor swimmers and require fine-scale reef structure to settle. Scientific Reports.