Coral Reefs

, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 510–513 | Cite as

Ex situ transportation of coral larvae for research, conservation, and aquaculture

  • D. Petersen
  • M. Hatta
  • M. Laterveer
  • D. van. Bergen


Due to the lack of appropriate methods to transport high amounts of larvae ex situ over large distances, the availability of coral larvae was so far mainly limited to their place of origin. For a research project at Rotterdam Zoo, The Netherlands, we transported several thousand larvae of three broadcast spawners (Acropora tenuis, A. digitifera, Diploria strigosa) from the Indo Pacific and the Caribbean to Europe. Beside logistics and packing techniques, post-transport survival rates were mainly influenced by larvae density and transport duration. Our results indicate optimum survival rates of >90% at densities of 4 larvae ml−1 when not exceeding a transportation time of 4 days. The ex situ transport of coral larvae over large distances might offer new possibilities for research, conservation, and aquaculture.


Coral larvae Ex situ transportation Conservation Aquaculture 



We are grateful to Makoto Omori for his generous hospitality at Akajima Marine Science Laboratory, Okinawa and to Kenji Iwao for his assistance in the field. We thank Maureen Kuenen, John Nijsse, Yukiko Ozawa and Martijn van der Veer for their help to collect gametes and to maintain larvae at Curaçao. Mirsada Mutapčić is acknowledged for carrying out the water analysis, Fernande Hazewinkel for assisting with the layout of the manuscript. DP was funded by the scholarship program of the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU). MH was supported by the Showa Shell Foundation and the Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research by the MEXT, Japan.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Petersen
    • 1
    • 3
  • M. Hatta
    • 2
  • M. Laterveer
    • 3
  • D. van. Bergen
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute of Ecology, Department of HydrobiologyUniversity of Duisburg-EssenEssenGermany
  2. 2.Department of BiologyOchanomizu UniversityTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Rotterdam ZooRotterdamThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Aquarium DepartmentCuraçao Sea AquariumCuraçao Netherlands Antilles

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