Corals may not recover from bleachingAugust 4th, 2008 - 2:31 pm ICT by IANS
Sydney, Aug 4 (IANS) Coral communities in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef might not be able to recover from bleaching as easily as previously presumed, says a new study. A two-year study by a University of Queensland team has found that contrary to perception, it is not possible for bleached corals to recover or become more resistant to bleaching by taking up more heat tolerant species of their micro-algae partners.
All corals have a symbiotic relationship with single-celled dinoflagellates, commonly referred to as zooxanthellae. The coral provides a habitat for the zooxanthellae, which in turn produce essential nutrients for the corals.
Under stressful conditions like high or low water temperatures, the symbiotic zooxanthellae are expelled from their host, causing a whitening of the coral tissue or bleaching.
Coral bleaching events have caused significant mortality of corals worldwide and the frequency as well as intensity of bleaching events is predicted to increase as a result of climate change.
Eugenia Sampayo, a research scholar, said past research had suggested that bleached corals could take up new, more tolerant symbionts, which would make them less susceptible to future bleaching events.
“Our research, however, shows that this may not be possible for all corals,” she said.
“This study is one of few that follows individual colonies over a two-year period and shows that individual colonies of the stony coral, Stylophora pistillata, do not change their symbionts as a response to temperature stress,” Sampayo said.
These findings have been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
- 2010 saw massive coral bleaching in Andamans - Jan 16, 2011
- Some corals unfazed by global warming - Mar 13, 2012
- Diversity in corals affects their susceptibility to temperature change - May 05, 2010
- Warming casts shadow over survival of coral reefs - Sep 17, 2012
- Corals and algae in Indian Ocean may survive future global warming - Feb 17, 2010
- Heat-tolerant coral reefs may survive global warming - May 21, 2009
- Soaring temps lead to mass coral killing in Indonesia: Study - Aug 17, 2010
- Coral reefs may be affected due to sea warming - Dec 24, 2009
- Unusual corals likely to survive global warming - Feb 22, 2010
- Bleaching can make corals more susceptible to disease - Oct 02, 2009
- Corals recover faster when they have clean water and plentiful sea life - Jul 22, 2009
- Scientists discover how corals fight diseases and bleaching - Aug 19, 2010
- Coral reefs across Indian Ocean dying: Experts - Oct 21, 2010
- Coral bleaching will go from bad to worse in 2010: Study - Nov 20, 2010
- 'Stress test' to identify 'reefs of hope' in climate change era - Mar 23, 2011
Tags: climate change, coral communities, coral stylophora pistillata, coral tissue, essential nutrients, great barrier reef, low water, micro algae, national academy of sciences, proceedings of the national academy, proceedings of the national academy of sciences, research scholar, stressful conditions, symbionts, symbiotic relationship, symbiotic zooxanthellae, temperature stress, tolerant species, university of queensland, water temperatures