A new study by researchers at Newcastle University and the Palau International Coral Reef Center has found that coral heat tolerance is highly variable.
The researchers found a big variance in the level of coral heat tolerance between the most tolerant and least tolerant species.
The latest research was published in the journal Proceedings Of The Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. The experiments found that the most heat tolerant coral species required double the dosage of heat stress to induce bleaching compared to the 10% least tolerant species.
According to Dr. James Guest, the study co-author from the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences:
“It is well known that corals vary in their tolerance to heat stress among species and in different locations, but marine scientists have rarely examined how much variation there is among corals living side by side on the same reef. Despite these corals experiencing the same conditions, we found a remarkable variation in heat tolerance among individuals, suggesting capacity for adaptation if some of the toughest corals are able to survive marine heatwaves.”
You can find the original study here.