What’s New With Coral Reefs?

Written by on July 10, 2013 in Coral Reefs, Marine Life
Coral reef in Fiji.

Coral reef in Fiji. Photo credit: Julie Bedford, NOAA PA.

New studies about coral reefs and climate change are constantly being published this summer so read on for the latest information.

A new study reveals that “deep cuts in carbon dioxide emissions are required” to keep coral reefs from disappearing.

By simulating various future scenarios, researchers from the Carnegie Institution for Science determined whether or not coral reefs could handle different ocean chemical conditions.

They found that if current emission rates continue, there will be no place left in the ocean with the same chemical composition as the water that supported coral reefs in the past. Unfortunately for coral reefs, the researchers say “it is a pretty good bet” that all shallow-water coral reefs will die. Watch the following video to learn more about their research.

Another new study sheds light on the relationship that corals have with bacteria.

By now, we know that reef-building corals don’t survive on their own; they have formed a symbiotic relationship with single-celled algae. Recently, scientists have discovered that corals also interact with bacteria, fungi and even viruses.

Researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) recently discovered that a certain group of bacteria called Endozoicomonas — which has been associated with different coral species around the world — lives deep within the coral’s tissues.

Although more research will be required to determine the exact purpose of the bacteria, the researchers suspect that it plays a role in keeping the coral healthy by helping to recycle nutrients and protecting it from disease.

To learn more:

Copyright © 2013 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of MarineScienceToday.com. She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .


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