Sex switching key to coral survival during global warmingFebruary 20th, 2009 - 3:18 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, Feb 20 (ANI): It has been found in a new research that Japanese sea corals engage in sex switching, which may be the key to the survival of the fragile marine species that are currently threatened by global warming.
The research has been undertaken by Professor Yossi Loya from Tel Aviv Universitys Department of Zoology.
It was found that in times of stress like extreme hot spells, the female mushroom coral (known as a fungiid coral) switches its sex so that most of the population becomes male.
The advantage of doing so is that male corals can more readily cope with stress when resources are limited, Loya determined.
We believe, as with orchids and some trees, sex change in corals increases their overall fitness, reinforcing the important role of reproductive plasticity in determining their evolutionary success, he said.
According to Loya, One of the evolutionary strategies that some corals use to survive seems to be their ability to change from female to male.
As males, they can pass through the bad years, then, when circumstances become more favorable, change back to overt females. Being a female takes more energy. And having the ability to change gender periodically enables a species to maximize its reproductive effort, he said.
Corals, though a part of the animal kingdom, can act like plants. Both are sedentary life forms, unable to move when times get tough.
In stressful environmental conditions, male corals can ride out the storm, so to speak, said Loya.
Males are less expensive - in the evolutionary sense - to maintain. They are cheaper in terms of their gonads and the energy needed to maintain their bodies, he added.
Loyas finding may give new insight to scientists into developing coral breeding strategies for the time when the massive climate changes predicted by scientists set in.
This knowledge can help coral breeders. Fungiid corals are a hardy coral variety which can be grown in captivity. Once you know its mode of reproduction, we can grow hundreds of thousands of them, he said. (ANI)
- Stressed corals can switch from male to female and back again - Mar 31, 2009
- New scent created by breeding orchid species to trick male bees - Apr 22, 2010
- Wingless female fireflies get less support from mates - Apr 06, 2011
- First ever bulldog with sex reversal identified - Mar 24, 2011
- Sexual deception in orchids explained - Dec 18, 2009
- Gene alteration turns male embryos into female, shows study - Dec 07, 2010
- UK exhibition to tell you everything you ever wanted to know about wild sex - Jan 30, 2011
- Warming casts shadow over survival of coral reefs - Sep 17, 2012
- Fish make sacrifices to play great dads - Mar 09, 2012
- 'Stress test' to identify 'reefs of hope' in climate change era - Mar 23, 2011
- Diversity in corals affects their susceptibility to temperature change - May 05, 2010
- Male fish extremely choosy about mates - Oct 12, 2011
- 160mn-yr-old pterodactyl fossil solves dino sex riddle - Jan 21, 2011
- Female butterflies chase males when it's cool - Jan 07, 2011
- Key to male potency may lie in bones - Feb 20, 2011
Tags: animal kingdom, captivity, climate changes, department of zoology, environmental conditions, evolutionary sense, evolutionary strategies, evolutionary success, fragile marine, global warming, gonads, marine species, mushroom coral, orchids, plasticity, reproductive effort, sedentary life, sex change, universitys, yossi