Coral researchers have been working hard to learn more about how coral functions — especially how it reproduces — to help save it. Recently scientists turned their focus to ridged cactus corals, a species pulled from the reef in 2014 by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and NOAA Fisheries when it was threatened by disease. The Florida Reef, or Great American Barrier Reef as it’s also known, runs just a few miles offshore from Florida Keys, and it’s the third largest coral barrier reef system in the world.

Ridged Cactus Coral - Mycetophyllia lamarckiana Florida Keys Reef
Ridged Cactus Coral – Mycetophyllia lamarckiana

After stabilizing the corals and ensuring they were disease-free, scientists started closely studying these coral in the lab, hoping to figure out how to breed them so that one day they might be returned to the reef.

Source: This scientific breakthrough could jumpstart the revival of the Great American Barrier Reef | MNN – Mother Nature Network

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