Ever since the world’s coral reefs started being in increased danger due to bleaching, scientists have been on the lookout for “super corals”. Such formations were noted to form and even thrive in unlikely, extreme locations. Now, a recently published paper presents the results of a new study targeting such the discovery of such a formation.
Super Corals or How Living on The Edge May Prove to be the Answer
Dr. Emma Camp is a marine biologist at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and a member of the C3 or Climate Change Cluster. With reef management options becoming more limited but also urgent, she considers that coral resilience “hot spots” may offer new hope.
So, back in 2016, a team of scientist conducted an expedition to New Caledonia. There, they studied a remote lagoon system which houses super corals. A paper presenting this discovery and research results is available in the journal Scientific Reports.
According to it, this remote lagoon is the house of a diverse community of reef-building corals. These were noted to have both adapted to this extreme environment, and also to be thriving in it. The super corals are living in acidic, low on oxygen and hot waters associated with mangroves. Still, their adaptability offers proof that corals may yet be able to survive in this warming world.
“The existence of corals living under this usually deadly trio of conditions, comparable and even exceeding what is predicted under climate change, gives us new hope […],” stated Dr. Camp.
She also points out that these could be the “super corals of the future”. They could help upgrade a reef’s resilience by supporting “proactive management options”.
Now, Dr. Camp and her colleagues will be turning their attention towards the Great Barrier Reef. They will be looking for mangroves habitats within it. These could prove a “game changer” for the Great Barrier Reef. Still, the research team does point out that this is not a quick fix for the local dying reefs and their ecosystems.
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