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Elkhorn coral at a calcification assessment station at Crocker Reef

Detailed Description

Established in 2009, the U.S. Geological Survey’s Coral Assessment Network (USGS-CAN) provides data on coral-growth (calcification) rates throughout the Florida Keys. Pictured here is a coral at Crocker Reef in the upper Florida Keys. The data document seasonal and spatial patterns in coral growth that correlate with ocean conditions and are used to guide the management and restoration of coral species that have experienced population declines across the region. Shown here is the threatened Elkhorn coral, Acropora palmata, that is largely responsible in the western Atlantic for creating the reef-crest habitat, the shallowest zone of the reef where waves break, that is essential for shoreline protection.

Learn more about USGS Coral Reef Ecosystem Studies.


Public Domain.