Do the shuffle and save yourself? It may not be easy for some corals

One of the mechanisms that corals can use to survive seawater temperature anomalies is shuffling between different Symbiodiniaceae genera to increase the presence of stress tolerant genera. While this is effective for the present seawater temperature conditions, it may not be so after 2050. As temperature anomalies become increasingly frequent and severe, tropical coral species already living at their tolerance limits will bear the brunt of climate change. Recently coral reef regions around the world are experiencing increased bleaching and mortality as the Degree Heating Weeks (DHW) is often between 4-8 ºC-weeks. So, when the DHW increases to >10.0°C-weeks by 2050, even if corals can shuffle, their capacity will be limited, and hence the mechanism will likely lose its efficacy as repeated and prolonged thermal stress events become more frequent and pronounced.

Read the full article, published by Zoological Studies, here

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Media contact: Noah Last: