Sunday, 24 December 2017

Hot to Trot?


Some (slightly?) more positive news on the impending wipe-out of coral reefs and their associated biota by climate change producing wide-spread bleaching events (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/23/new-lab-bred-super-corals-could-help-avert-global-reef-wipeout). Laboratory studies (including some at London aquarium) have had some recent success developing new, more heat resistant strains of the symbiotic algae that live with these coelenterates (the algae, which provide nutrients to the corals, are the items of the association most easily killed by rising water temperatures). Scientists are also looking at using innoculations of protective bacteria. The hope is that they can develop 'super corals' that can help restore some of the reef systems. Having said that, coral bleaching occurs over very extensive areas and the organism is relatively slow-growing. The prognosis is poor.

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