Coral Reefs – Microfragmentation

Coral Reefs 5 – MicrofragmentationAmbience: Ocean SurfScientists around the world are working to restore coral reefs. One of the most promising techniques is called microfragmentation. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.Trotz: Microfragmentation refers to the cutting of corals using a saw into small pieces and then using that as the base upon which your corals would grow. Maya Trotz is a professor of civil & environmental engineering at University of South Florida.Trotz: So when you have a coral reef and the storms come, they might break your corals apart and then, depending upon where those corals land, they tend to grow again. So normally in coral restoration work, that’s what a lot of people do, especially with many of the branching corals, which are the corals that attract a lot of fish.When you take those branches, and you plant them back on a coral reef, with cement – or you stick them back somewhere where they can be stable, they tend to grow again. But a more effective approach was discovered accidentally by Dr. David Vaugn,Trotz: He was growing Corals and some fell and broke and into smaller pieces. Those smaller pieces he found grew much faster than the pieces he was growing from before. He invented the term microfragmentation, and he would use a diamond blade saw to cut the coral into these smaller pieces. And he might put 5 of those pieces on the same sort of substrate material. And they would grow faster and also merge together. And so for some of these slower growing corals, like the brain coral, he could grow something that would normally take ten years in a much shorter period of time.Pulse of the Planet is made possible in part by the Center for Earth and Environmental Nanotechnology and the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

Coral Reefs - Microfragmentation

An accidental discovery leads to a new way of recovering reefs
Air Date:03/10/2021
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Transcript:

Coral Reefs 5 - MicrofragmentationAmbience: Ocean SurfScientists around the world are working to restore coral reefs. One of the most promising techniques is called microfragmentation. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.Trotz: Microfragmentation refers to the cutting of corals using a saw into small pieces and then using that as the base upon which your corals would grow. Maya Trotz is a professor of civil & environmental engineering at University of South Florida.Trotz: So when you have a coral reef and the storms come, they might break your corals apart and then, depending upon where those corals land, they tend to grow again. So normally in coral restoration work, that's what a lot of people do, especially with many of the branching corals, which are the corals that attract a lot of fish.When you take those branches, and you plant them back on a coral reef, with cement - or you stick them back somewhere where they can be stable, they tend to grow again. But a more effective approach was discovered accidentally by Dr. David Vaugn,Trotz: He was growing Corals and some fell and broke and into smaller pieces. Those smaller pieces he found grew much faster than the pieces he was growing from before. He invented the term microfragmentation, and he would use a diamond blade saw to cut the coral into these smaller pieces. And he might put 5 of those pieces on the same sort of substrate material. And they would grow faster and also merge together. And so for some of these slower growing corals, like the brain coral, he could grow something that would normally take ten years in a much shorter period of time.Pulse of the Planet is made possible in part by the Center for Earth and Environmental Nanotechnology and the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.