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Dr. Austin Bowden Kirby Coral Transplant Project on Reef Balls. First every transplants on Reef Ball Febuary, 2000. TRANSFORMATION OF ARTIFICIAL CONCRETE "REEF BALL" STRUCTURE into living coral heads through the use of implants of JUVENILE massive corals. Implants of massive corals over long lasting artificial reefs, concrete reef balls (a coral-like dome) have proven to be useful for the restoration or development of a small patch reef on back reef area. The potential ability of some massive corals to spread over an artificial reef structure can reduce the time of colony development while enhancing vertical stratification of coral microhabitats. Three concrete "Reef Balls" were deployed at three backreef sites in La Parguera, South of Puerto Rico. These structures were planted with juvenile massive corals (< 20 cm dia.) of several species (Diploria spp., Montastrea spp. and Colpophyllia spp.) using marine cement. Dead coral heads observed near reef balls were also planted with juvenile massive corals. Jeopardized coral populations from shallow reef flat zones were used as a source for transplants (n=64 colonies). Overall survivorship of corals 10 months after transplantation was 94 %. Also, coral colonies overcame the impairment of the wave action whichoccurred during Hurricane Georges.(Bay Balls) These preliminary results indicate a very succesful rate for the methodology employed. However, our team will continue studies for the widespread field testing and refinement of these methods and test massive coral species for differences in survival and establishment strategies (lateral growth vs. upward growth response) on concrete "reef ball" structures at different habitats. -Antonio Ortiz, Lajas, PR

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