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Corals could provide lifeline to battered reefs – Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii 2021-05-29 07:37:16 –

Pennsylvania [US], May 29 (ANI): Coral reefs are known to be a habitat for many marine animals, so it is very important to protect them. A new study led by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania has withstood severe bleaching and transplanted coral reefs maintain their resilience while coral bleaching is damaging reefs. I found out.

Bleaching occurs when higher than normal seawater temperatures live inside the coral and the coral attempts to expel the algae it depends on for food. Although the bleaching phenomenon is disastrous, corals sometimes recover, but some coral completely resist bleaching.

In a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers led by Katie Ballot of the University of Pennsylvania found that resilient corals tested in these battles were transplanted into different environments and exposed to additional heat stress. We have found that they can thrive even if they do. The findings show that strong corals may serve as a base population for future restoration of coral reefs.

“What we were really interested in here was a species for collecting coral that appears to be resistant to climate change, breeding it, and breeding it on another coral reef that may be deteriorating. It was to experimentally test whether it could be used as a reef, “says Ballot. Coral bleaching is becoming more and more frequent, raising concerns that corals may be victims of climate change in the near future. However, Barrot and his colleagues have been studying corals that resist bleaching, with the aim of giving them more time in the face of seawater warming and acidification.

One of the strategies they and others envisioned, which has been trained in areas such as the Great Barrier Reef, is coral transplantation. Researchers were able to replenish coral reefs damaged by climate change and human insults such as sediments and ship grounding with coral that survived in the face of rugged and harsh conditions.

However, for this to work, the coral “survivors” must continue to exhibit resilient properties after moving to a new environment.

“If you take bleach-tolerant coral in its natural habitat, the stress of moving to a new location can cause the coral to lose its ability,” says Barrot.

Coral transplanted with new environmental conditions such as water flow, food access, light, and nutrient availability, just as well-grown ferns in the shade wilt when they move to sunny plots. May affect your resilience.

Barrot and his colleagues pursued this issue by conducting experiments on two coral reefs in Kaneoe Bay, Hawaii, on Oahu. One is more stagnant water, the other is off the coast and the other is more water flow. In each region, researchers identified coral colonies that resisted bleaching during the 2015 bleaching event and collected samples from them the following year. Because coral is a cloned organism, the masses taken from the colony re-grow and have the same genetics as the “mother” coral. For each colony, they retained some samples on the original reef and transplanted others to the second reef.

After the coral spent six months in a new location, biologists placed coral samples from each site into laboratory tanks and raised the water temperature for several days to simulate another bleaching phenomenon.

The team carefully tracked coral health and surrounding environmental conditions to measure photosynthesis, metabolism, calcification, and symbiotic algae health. They found that bleach-tolerant corals maintain their condition even in new environments.

“What was really novel was that we did this highly reproducible experiment, but we didn’t see any change in the coral bleaching reaction,” the researchers said. I also investigated whether it was reproduced well. They found that the conditions of the coral’s natural habitat affect the future fertility of the coral.

“Corals in” happy “places in the outer lagoon, which had high growth rates before the bleaching phenomenon, generally looked a little happier and more fit,” says Barrot. “This is coral. When building a nursery, it indicates that you should choose a place with good conditions. Even after being planted in a place with few corals, spending time in a better place seems to have some carry-over. Because “a happy place”. The “happy place”, a lagoon off the coast, the “happy” place was faster, closer to the coast, less salty and stagnant than other coral reefs. Increasing flow is very important for getting food, “says Barrot.

Ballot, who began his research as a postdoctoral fellow at the Hawaii Marine Biological Research Institute, continues to study coral resilience in the University of Pennsylvania laboratory. Coral sperm.

The results of the transplant study are promising, but she says, they are only a temporary solution to the threat of climate change.

“I think we can save some time with these techniques, but there is no substitute for limiting carbon dioxide emissions,” she says. “If ocean warming continues to progress as rapidly as it does today, even bleach-tolerant corals cannot survive forever and require global action against climate change.” (Ani)

Corals could provide lifeline to battered reefs Source link Corals could provide lifeline to battered reefs

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