Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Coral Reefs Living In Sites With Variable Temperatures Better Able To Survive Warm Water

Date:
December 4, 2007
Source:
Wildlife Conservation Society
Summary:
Finally, some good news about the prospects of coral reefs in the age of climate change. According to a new study corals may actually survive rising ocean temperatures in 'tough love' seas with wide-ranging temperatures.

Researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society have found that corals living in variable temperatures are better able to survive warmer seas due to climate change.
Credit: Tim McClanahan

Finally, some good news about the prospects of coral reefs in the age of climate change. According to a new study by the Wildlife Conservation Society, corals may actually survive rising ocean temperatures in 'tough love' seas with wide-ranging temperatures.

Researchers discovered that coral reefs in sites with varying seasonal temperatures are more likely to survive the 'hot pulses' of Climate Change. Conversely, reefs living in environments with stable but higher temperatures are more susceptible to "bleaching," a global phenomenon where beneficial algae are "evicted" by corals, ultimately leading to the reef's demise.

The study, which appears in the journal Ecological Monographs, presents the results of an 8-year study on the reefs of East Africa.

"This finding is a ray of hope in a growing sea of coral bleaching events and threatened marine wildlife," said Dr. Tim McClanahan, Senior Scientist working for WCS' Coral Reef Programs and lead author of the study. "With rising surface temperatures threatening reef systems globally, these sites serve as high diversity refuges for corals trying to survive."

Coral reefs are composed of tiny creatures that live in colonies in mostly tropical and subtropical waters. Corals are home to beneficial algae, which gives reefs their stunning colors. During prolonged, unusually high surface temperatures, many coral species bleach, discharging the algae and leaving the reefs white and sickly.

The study examined temperature variations and coral bleaching events off the coast of East Africa between the years of 1998 and 2005.

The researchers also discovered that the coral reefs in sites with the most temperature variation were in the 'shadow' of islands, protected from the oceanic currents that reduce temperature variations in reef ecosystems. According to the authors of the study, the results suggest that corals in these locations are better adapted to environmental variation. Consequently, they are more likely to survive dramatic increases in temperature.

"The findings are encouraging in the fact that at least some corals and reef locations will survive the warmer surface temperatures to come," added McClanahan. "They also show us where we should direct our conservation efforts the most by giving these areas our highest priority for conservation."

On a broader scale, the Wildlife Conservation Society engages in coral reef conservation on a global scale, with projects on reef systems in Belize, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, and Madagascar. All of these nations are island environments that may have similar persistence across the global warming crisis.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wildlife Conservation Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wildlife Conservation Society. "Coral Reefs Living In Sites With Variable Temperatures Better Able To Survive Warm Water." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 December 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071129183829.htm>.
Wildlife Conservation Society. (2007, December 4). Coral Reefs Living In Sites With Variable Temperatures Better Able To Survive Warm Water. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071129183829.htm
Wildlife Conservation Society. "Coral Reefs Living In Sites With Variable Temperatures Better Able To Survive Warm Water." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071129183829.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Volcano Erupts on Papua New Guinea

Raw: Volcano Erupts on Papua New Guinea

AP (Aug. 29, 2014) Several communities were evacuated and some international flights were diverted on Friday after one of the most active volcanos in the region erupts. (Aug. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Have Figured Out Why Rocks Move In Death Valley

Scientists Have Figured Out Why Rocks Move In Death Valley

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) The mystery of the moving rocks in Death Valley, California, has finally been solved. Scientists are pointing to a combo of water, ice and wind. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Big Waves, Minor Flooding from Hurricane

Big Waves, Minor Flooding from Hurricane

AP (Aug. 27, 2014) Thundering surf spawned by Hurricane Marie pounded the Southern California coast Wednesday, causing minor flooding in a low-lying beach town. High surf warnings were posted for Los Angeles County south through Orange County. (Aug. 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins