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Australia | New approach to mapping reefs at Great Barrier Reef Marine Park holds promise for corals

Any aquarist who has tried to grow a variety of the colorful Acropora coral in a hobby tank knows how delicate they are – “not for beginners.” And yet this sensitive group of hard, branching corals dominates the coral population of the Great Barrier Reef, lending color, structure, and tourist appeal.

In April of this year, reports came out that the annual spawning of this coral showed a low rate of recruitment (growth of infant coral within a reef). These coral communities had been devastated when sea temperature rise drove back-to-back bleaching events in 2016 and 2017. It can take an Acropora coral community 9–12 years to recover from a severe bleaching event.

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