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Restoration of hard bottoms and tropical reefs: field work and practice

Semester 3

Direct and indirect human pressures on marine ecosystems are expected to increase considerably in the next few decades, leading to a serious loss of marine biodiversity and the degradation of ecosystem functioning. Since the functioning of marine ecosystems is up held by high levels of biodiversity, the continuing loss of biodiversity will lead to the unprecedented erosion of natural capital in marine ecosystems and of the services they supply. The course aims primarily to provide students strategies and practical skills for the restoration of hard bottom habitats, for the assessment of restoration success and benefits on key ecological attributes. This course will provide suitable restoration field protocols for the selected habitats/species.

Course Contents

  •    General introduction on restoration actions of hard bottoms habitats
  •    Criteria for selection of target species 
  •    Restoration donor sites and specimens
  •    Selection of restoration site 
  •    Restoration protocols (Techniques) for coralligenous
  •    Protocols for sponges 
  •    Protocols for corals
  •    Tools for assessing restoration success of transplanted organisms and their ecological benefits on the surrounding environment

Initial Competencies

Good knowledge on marine zoology, ecology and biology. SCUBA diving licence is useful, but not mandatory.

Final Competencies

  1.     knowledge on the most suitable strategies for restoring degraded hard bottoms and reef habitats.
  2.     Knowledge on the best restoration techniques to be applied in the field.
  3.     Knowledge on the strategies for the monitoring of the success of restoration actions. 
  4.     Knowledge on implementation plans for the scale up of restoration actions.


Further course information can be found here: