Saturday, May 25, 2024

Coral Resilience In the Indo-Pacific Is Better Than The Atlantic


Researchers from Penn State University have found that coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific are more resilient than Atlantic corals in the face of climate change.

The scientists discovered that the main factor in this resilience is the difference in coral symbiont species.

The researchers found that there are two different types of Symbiont species, generalists and specialists, with the latter only capable of associating with one or a few types of coral species. Locations like the Caribbean prefer specialty symbionts, while Indo-Pacific corals tend to prefer generalist symbionts. As a result, Indo-Pacific corals, with their more flexible symbiont choices, are more robust and are capable of weathering environmental stressors better than their Caribbean counterparts.

Discussing the importance of robustness on coral population, Todd LaJeunesse, a Penn State professor of biology said about coral bleaching which is caused by the death of symbionts from changes in environmental conditions:

“Coral bleaching has an impact not only on the coral colonies but also on entire ecosystems of creatures, including invertebrates such as sea urchins and spiny lobsters, as well as vertebrates such as fish and sea turtles.”

You can find the original research here.

Sam Helmy
Sam Helmy
Sam Helmy is a TDI/SDI Instructor Trainer, and PADI Staff and Trimix Instructor. Diving for 28 years, a dive pro for 14, I have traveled extensively chasing my passion for diving. I am passionate about everything diving, with a keen interest in exploration, Sharks and big stuff, Photography and Decompression theory. Diving is definitely the one and only passion that has stayed with me my whole life! Sam is a Staff Writer for