TROPICAL GEOGRAPHY ›› 2016, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (1): 80-86.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.002809

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Review on Ecological Restoration Theories and Practices of Coral Reefs

QIN Zhenjun1,YU Kefu1ab,2,WANG Yinghui1a,b   

  1. (1. a. Coral Reef Research Center of China;b. School of Marine Sciences;c. School of Environmental Sciences,Guangxi University, Nanning 530004,China;2. South China Sea Institute of Oceanology,Chinese Academy of Sciences,Guangzhou 510301,China)
  • Online:2016-01-05 Published:2016-01-05


Coral reefs are degraded rapidly by the global warming and large-scale human activities around the world, especially in the South China Sea (SCS). Coral reef restoration has caught the attentions of researchers and volunteers in recent years. Related theories and technologies are to be developed, but undoubtedly, the most important strategy is to protect the eco-environment of coral reefs to avoid further damage. For coral reef restoration, coral transplantation is a promising way. After corals are transplanted, the damaged tissues can be repaired in a few days, the immune system can be rebuilt, and the symbiont (zooxanthellae) community structure can be changed to enhance coral’s adaptation to the new environment. Gardening and captive breeding are effective ways to provide transplantation materials while artificial reefs are an important means to help establish coral development base. Creating and maintaining the growth environment for corals can help to raise the efficiency of ecological restoration. Spread and survival of coral larva can be promoted with the help of favorable water flow, chemical induction and microtopography. The environment-tolerant capacity and recovery potential of corals and they symbiotic zooxanthellae can be improved using molecular technologies. Coral restoration technologies including coral transplantation, gardening, artificial reefs, coral repair and captive coral breeding can be employed effectively in lots of areas.

Key words: coral reefs, ecological restoration, restoration theory, restoration technology