From National Geographic News:
Ancient corals may have been more adaptable to changing ocean chemistry than previously thought, a new study shows.
The findings may offer hope that if the diversity of modern corals is preserved, they may be able to adapt as global warming causes seas to become more acidic.
These fossil corals in diverse reef communities adjusted to an acidic environment by altering the way they built their chalky skeletons.
Modern hard corals—known as scleractinians—form reefs of thousands of tiny skeletons made from a calcium carbonate called aragonite.
Aragonite is susceptible to the corrosive effects of acidic oceans, which today has become a byproduct of a build-up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
See the National Geographic site for further read-up on this interesting theory.