During one of his excursions through Miami’s inner city waterways our good friend Colin Foord, who is half of Coral Morphologic team with Jared Mc Kay, did an incredible discovery: a coral belonging to the genus Acropora that is extremely rare in South Florida shores.
This isolated colony is growing in a very hostile environment, in the harsh waters of one of the busiest shipping lanes in the country, on artificial rocks surrounding the Fisher Island side of Government Cut, a place where, every day, enormous cruise ships travel to and from the Port of Miami. Colin was so surprised that he informed the scientific community about his discovery. The biologists had never seen Acropora before in Florida.
The super coral. “It is highly unusual for a Caribbean Acropora species to be fluorescent … There is a variety of other corals growing in Government Cut Island. It’s actually quite a beautiful marine habitat. But they’re starting to bleach now, because bleaching typically happens when the water temperature gets too warm, which is of course what everyone’s so concerned about with global warming. It doesn’t necessarily kill the coral, it’s just an indicator of stress. It means the coral is not getting nutrients it needs and, if conditions don’t get back down to normal, then the coral can die. But this coral is not showing any signs of stress. It’s not showing any signs of bleaching,” Colin says.
Such vigor is attributed to hybrids of many species as Colin suggested. The Acropora has proven itself very robust, and could be an hybrid which successfully adapted itself to these strong environmental conditions. Colin also explained that its combination of adaptability, vigor, and fecundity make the coral hybrid a candidate for rehabilitating South Florida’s endangered coral reefs, which have been decimated over the last 30 years.