While the threat of coral bleaching as a result of climate change poses a serious risk to the future of coral reefs world wide, new research has found that some baby corals may be able to cope with the negative effects of ocean acidification.
Ocean acidification, which is a direct consequence of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, is expected to have a deleterious effect on many marine species over the next century.
An international team examining the impact of ocean acidification on coral has found that a key reef-building coral can, over a relatively short period of time, acclimate to a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.
“Our aim was to explore the effect of a more acidic ocean on every gene in the coral genome,” says study lead author Dr Aurelie Moya, a molecular ecologist with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University.
The researchers exposed baby corals from the Great Barrier Reef to acidified seawater for varying lengths of time and investigated how they responded at a molecular level.
“We found that, whereas 3 days of exposure to high CO2 disrupts formation of the coral skeleton, within nine days the baby corals had re-adjusted their gene expression to pre-exposure levels. Longer exposure seems to be less detrimental to coral health than we had assumed based on shorter-term studies,” Dr Aurelie Moya says.
“These findings suggest that baby corals have the capacity to acclimate to elevated carbon dioxide.”
“We saw that within a few days juvenile coral adapted to CO2levels double those experienced today with no obvious disruption to its life processes,” says study co-author, Professor David Miller, who leads the molecular biology group in the Coral CoE.
Professor Miller says the findings are particularly significant as they centred on staghorn coral.
“Staghorn corals are the key reef-building corals throughout the Pacific and Indian oceans. These are traditionally considered to have poor stress tolerance. So this work provides a glimmer of hope that coral reefs can attenuate the effects of ocean acidification.”
The Latest on: Coral reefs
via Google News
The Latest on: Coral reefs
- The Great Barrier Reef has record coral cover. It may not matteron August 8, 2022 at 2:00 am
High coral cover findings can be just a few dominant species that grow rapidly after a disturbance but are likely to die out within a few years.
- Good news on climate change? Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has healthiest coral in 36 yearson August 6, 2022 at 11:50 am
Australian Institute of Marine Science says results in north and central regions are a sign the reef could still recover, but loss elsewhere highlights risks.
- Great Barrier Reef areas show the highest coral cover in 36 yearson August 5, 2022 at 4:13 pm
Two-thirds of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia are showing the highest amount of coral cover in nearly 36 years, the Australian Institute of Marine Science said in a new report. The big picture: ...
- Divers remove nearly 50 tons of debris from coral reefson August 5, 2022 at 12:30 pm
Nearly 50 tons of waste have been removed from the marine ecosystem in Hawaii. The final pieces of waste were collected last week when freedivers from Huawei-based nonprofit organization PapahÄ ...
- Parts of Great Barrier Reef See Most Extensive Coral Cover In 36 Yearson August 5, 2022 at 9:44 am
In the northern and central stretches of the Great Barrier Reef, scientists have recorded the most extensive coral cover seen in 36 years of study, according to a new report from the Australian ...
- Coral cover increases in parts of Great Barrier Reefon August 4, 2022 at 12:10 pm
The coral cover in the northern and central sections of the Great Barrier Reef is at its highest amount in at least 36 years, Australian marine scientists announced Thursday.
- Parts of Great Barrier Reef record highest number of coral in nearly 4 decades, scientists sayon August 4, 2022 at 10:20 am
A survey found that between August 2021 and May 2022, average hard coral cover in two areas of the Great Barrier Reef increased by about one-third.
- Parts of Great Barrier Reef show highest coral cover seen in 36 years, report findson August 4, 2022 at 4:41 am
The central and northern stretches of the reef recorded the highest coral cover in 36 years but are still vulnerable to climate change, monitoring group says.
- Coral levels in some parts of the Great Barrier Reef are at the highest in 36 yearson August 4, 2022 at 4:02 am
While higher water temperatures led to a coral bleaching event in some areas in March, the temperatures did not climb high enough to kill the coral, according to the Australian government.
- Parts of Great Barrier Reef record highest amount of coral in 36 yearson August 4, 2022 at 2:43 am
The reef is still under threat, but the new findings show it could still recover from mass bleaching and outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish that feed on coral.
via Bing News