Dietarily Supplementing the Effects of Climate Change in Coral Reefs

by | Jun 17, 2015 | Conservation, Corals, Science, Sustainability | 0 comments

Researchers from the University of Miami are perfectly placed to collect their recent findings supporting the need for human intervention when it comes to climate change and coral reefs. “For many years we have known that some types of symbiotic algae can convey climate change resilience to corals,” said co-author Chris Langdon, UM Rosenstiel School professor and chair of marine biology and ecology. “This study shows that behavioral and possibly physiological differences in the animal, which is half of the coral-algal symbiosis, can also convey resilience and not just to climate change but also to ocean acidification.” climate-changeThe study found that by simulating a bleaching event, and then providing an increased amount of bio-available organics, coral was able to mitigate the effects of bleaching much more easily. “In this study we found that the threatened coral, Acropora cervicornis, was able to increase its feeding rate and stored energy reserves when exposed to high CO2 conditions at 26°C or 30°C and mitigate reductions in calcification that caused significant decreases in growth rate in unfed corals,” according to the authors. “Our study shows a pathway to resilience previous unknown for this particular species, which was once a dominant species in South Florida. This has implications for how we care for and where we out-plant Staghorn corals back onto reefs to give them the best chance for resilience possible in the future.” -UM Rosenstiel School Ph.D. student Erica Towle, lead author of the study.


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