Scientists have promoted the biggest attempt to regenerate the coral of the endangered large coral reef by collecting millions of eggs and sperm of creatures during their annual spawning.
Researchers on Wednesday said they plan to grow coral larvae from the collected eggs and return them to reefs that have been severely damaged by the climate-related climate collapse.
"This is the first time that the whole process of breeding and settling large-scale larvae will be taken directly to the Great Barrier Reef," said Peter Harrison of South Crosse University, one of the project's leaders.
"Our team will recover hundreds of square meters in order to reach a square kilometer in the future, a scale that has not been tried before," he said in a statement.
The launch of the "Lark Restoration Project" coincidentally coincided with the annual coral reef mix, which began earlier this week and lasts only about 48 to 72 hours.
Corals along the large coral reefs of 2,300 kilometers were killed by rising sea-temperature temperatures associated with climate change, leaving the rear skeletal remains in a process known as coral bleaching.
The northern parts of the ridge experienced unprecedented two consecutive years of severe bleaching in 2016 and 2017, raising fears that they might have suffered irreparable damage.
Harrison and his colleagues hope their reset project can help change this trend, but he warned that the effort would not be enough to save the sin alone.
"Climate action is the only way to ensure that coral reefs can survive in the future," he said.
"Our approach to rebuilding the reef aims to buy time to survive and develop coral populations until we limit emissions and our climate is stabilizing."
Scientists hope that corals that have survived bleaching have greater tolerance to temperature rises, so the breeding population produced this year will become corals that can better survive future whitening events.
Researchers, who also include experts from James Cook University and the University of Sydney (UTS), say the novelty of their re-capture project is to grow coral larvae along with microscopic algae. The two live in symbiosis on the ridge.
"So we are striving to speed up this process to see if the survival and early growth of juvenile corals can be increased by the rapid algae absorption," explained David Sugget of UTS.
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