Mass coral spawning ‘a myth’

Research shows mass coral spawning on the Great Barrier Reef is a myth.

Earlier studies suggested coral polyps on the reef spawned en masse on the same night as each other after a full moon in October or November.

A senior research fellow with the Centre for Coral Reef Research, Andrew Baird, says the corals are actually spawning every month for all of spring and summer.

He says when scientists first discovered synchronised spawning more than 20 years ago, they focused on one event rather than the season.

“We’ve been going back and taking a broader look at it and sampling throughout the season and finding that the event is much less synchronous than the early work suggested,” Dr Baird said.