You usually think of Acropora as being a delicate coral group, ready to die at a moment’s notice but would you believe that there are acropora growing inside Miami Florida? We’re not talking about Acros in reef tanks, we’re talking about live wild Acropora colonies growing inside the city limits of Miami and surviving all the pollution, runoff and sedimentation that comes with urban living.
Colin Foord of Coral Morphoogic has discovered several colonies of Acropora growing in the highly stressful environment of shallow-water city living corals. These few colonies of Acropora appear to be Acropora x ‘prolifera’, a naturally occuring hybrid of the elkhorn and staghorn coral species. Although the nominal species of Acropora are federally protected, the hybrids are not and this raises very important questions about an upcoming “deep dredge” which threatens to smother these unique and environmentally robust Acropora colonies.
We love TED and have featured many TED presentations over the years but we are really thrilled to see that the Urban Acros of Miami will get a well-deserved spotlight from Colin Foord at TEDxMia, an independently organized TED event in Miami. It is important for the public to know about these super tough acroporas and hopefully some research will be done on the genetics and symbiodinium of these unusually tenacious corals living in Miami’s shipping lanes. If we’re super lucky then something will be learned about these super hardy Acropora and how they have acclimated to their fringe habitat, findings which could relate to why some corals do great in aquariums while others struggle.