Healthy coral

David Paz-Garzia
August 31, 2020
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Healthy corals
David Paz-Garzia

A healthy coral reef with both hard corals and softer-bodied relatives at Chinchorro Reef in the Mexican Caribbean Sea.

(Photo courtesy of David Paz-Garcia)

A new study, published Aug. 31 in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, finds that reef-building corals emerged only when ocean conditions supported the construction of these creatures’ stony skeletons, whereas diverse softer corals and sea anemones flourished at other times. Without a significant change to anthropogenic carbon emissions, the new findings present stark implications for the present and future of hard-bodied corals while suggesting a silver lining for the diversity of some of their softer-bodied relatives.

 

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