Fossils prove reefs can be resilient

Professor John Pandolfi of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and The University of Queensland and his team of peer scientists have some hopeful news coming out of the waters near Papua New Guinea’s Huon Gulf region. In their investigation of ancient fossil corals — some as old as a half a million years — the researchers found what inspired a fresh hope that coral reefs may be able to withstand the huge stresses imposed on them by our human activity.

Pizza coral
“The fossil record shows that reefs have been remarkably successful in surviving large environmental disturbances.” “However,” warns Professor Pandolfi, ” the combination of drastic environmental changes that we’re seeing today, such as degraded water quality, depleted fish stocks, coral bleaching, ocean acidification and loss of habitat are unprecedented in the history of coral reefs. Although this study clearly highlights the resilience of reef ecosystems, it is important not to underestimate the magnitude of the challenges that reefs are currently facing. ”  Read more here.