Video: Colourful coral spawning event captured on film

March 3, 2014 by Kate Bishop

Each year researchers flock to The University of Queensland's Heron Island Research Station to witness and study the annual coral spawning event.

Coral spawning is reproduction on a massive scale.

UQ Heron Island Research Station Manager Dr Elizabeth Perkins said the event typically occurred five to seven nights after the November full moon.

"The annual spawning event gives researchers an opportunity to study the effects of the changing environment on reef life," Dr Perkins said.

"During the last coral spawning event, researchers collected large volumes of coral larvae to assess the impact of climate change.

"Researchers study different climate change scenarios and changes to our oceans to get a better understanding of the condition of the reef. "

"Situated on the southern Great Barrier Reef, the is the oldest and largest marine research station on the Reef," Dr Perkins said.

"Literally metres from the reef, with crystal clear water and near pristine conditions, the station provides easy and direct access to the marine environment.

"The coral colonies are collected and brought back to the research station where a large aquaria system is used to hold the and coral spawns while they are investigated."

UQ's Heron Island Research Station has been operating for more than 50 years and is Australia's largest, best-equipped and most productive university-owned marine research station.

It is an international facility for coral reef research and student training in marine sciences.

Explore further: Scientists highlight the importance of nutrients for coral reefs

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