go to main content
News

News

Print (Open in new window) PrintForward (Open in new window) Forward
Text size:

Add to Google Bookmarks (Open in new window)Share on Facebook (Open in new window)Share on Twitter (Open in new window)Share on Line (Open in new window)

The Dongsha Atoll is a complete coral reef. Its unique marine ecology and high biodiversity allow Dongsha Atoll become a decisive habitat in the South China Sea and Taiwan’s marine resources. During the significant global coral breaching event in 1998, the ecology of the atoll was also seriously compromised. Therefore, the Marine National Park Headquarters (MNPH) was actively devoted to the business of marine conservation and restoration in order to preserve this critical habitat and establish a marine eco-corridor since the MNPH was established in 2007. In these years, our restoration strategy was aimed at developing 10 foundations for ramet restoration on the Dongsha Atoll. In addition, effective coral populations were increased through overall connections. Eventually the population of coral can restore itself by changing its gametogenesis and fecundity, and thus allow coral to build itself a suitable space as a biological habitat. Moreover, through cross-boundary (organization) cooperation, the restoration of algivores was quite successful. At present, we have successfully restore Tridacna spp. and Tectus niloticus maximus.After being bred to a proper size, they will be reintroduced to nearby waters, and the results have been very fruitful. A week before or after the birthday of Mazu, the laying of eggs by coral has become a grand annual occasion each year as a result of restoration and conservation business on the Dongsha Atoll. To welcome this grand annual event, the research staff of the MNPH started to survey the real-time changes of sea temperature from April. Furthermore, to monitor the status of the coral laying eggs, research staff also incorporated microscopic analysis in the survey of gonad development in coral polyps。

Emerging Favia speciosa laying eggs along the North coast of Dongsha Island.
Emerging Favia speciosa laying eggs along the North coast of Dongsha Island.

On May 6th, outside of the Dongsha Atoll, the evidence of a large amount of coral eggs could already be found on the surface of the sea, but no active signs of egg explosion were found inside of the atoll. Previous studies and experience indicated that the differences in release time may be related to the systemic differences of water temperature in the atoll. When there is a significant low-tide, together with an average 28~32℃ temperature of sea water and a layer of aggregated coral eggs on the surface of the water, research staff could feel the grand annual occasion—a big coral egg explosion will be happening soon after continuous survey for nearly one month. On May 8th, MNPH staff began night diving along the North coast of Dongsha Island. When they dove into the coral reef region, they observed the big coral egg explosion of Favia speciosa. At the same time, on May 9th, they also captured photos of collective Porites coral releasing sperm and eggs near the waters of “LUNG PAI WEI” along the East coast of Dongsha Island。

Explosive scenery of coral egg-laying along the North coast of Dongsha Islan. Porites coral releases sperm and eggs near the waters of “LUNG PAI WEI” on Dongsha Island.

Explosive scenery of coral egg-laying along the North coast of Dongsha Islan.

Porites coral releases sperm and eggs near the waters of “LUNG PAI WEI” on Dongsha Island.

Dongsha Atoll is like a shining pearl in the sea that gives birth to many lives. In the past several years, the timing of coral egg-laying in Dongsha Atoll National Park has been concentrated between April and May, which the timing more stable than at the Kenting National Park. The timing of the explosive scenery of coral egg-laying is closely related to the overall grand environment of the ocean, which involves various marine phenomena and life issues. However, considering the impacts on the marine environment created by climatic changes and human economic activities, marine protection activity has become a time-sensitive matter.。
Back

footer