Larger is better. Well, at least when it comes to reef restoration, we do believe larger is indeed better. When we go larger, we achieve a high ecological and social impact. Let us explain.
The Reef Rescuers project in the Seychelles, between 2011 and 2014, use large-scale rope nurseries to grow more than 40K fragments and transplanted over 24K of those in 5000 m2. The assessment of the ecological impact generated by this large effort provided evidence to suggest that large-scale coral reef gardening can enhance natural reef recovery. It could double coral settlement and recruitment, increased fish density and build resistance to bleaching, with some of the effects prevailing beyond natural disturbance (Shute et al. in prep). The results we saw were in contrast to what smaller projects had seen until then which lead us to propose that when it comes to the ecological footprint of reef restoration, larger is better.
¿But could this positive effect extend to the social component of reef restoration? We mean, why are we restoring coral reefs anyway if is not for having communities continue enjoying the services that coral reefs provide to them.