Corals Adapt to Global Warming-Related Infections
Source: USA TODAY
January 18, 2011
Corals may battle global warming-spawned diseases better than anticipated, suggest marine biologists.
Caribbean corals have suffered massive die-offs in recent decades, linked to diseases that thrive in warmer waters, according to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal study, led by Laith Yakob of the University of Queensland and Peter Mumby of the University of Exeter. "The strong link between infectious disease outbreaks and rising sea temperature has inevitably led to projections of increased epizootics in the future," says the study.
"However, climate change has resulted in the emergence of novel coral assemblages, whose ecological properties are in marked contrast to those seen in previous millennia. Whereas the Caribbean coral assemblages were once dominated by large, long-lived species, they now increasingly comprise small-bodied, fast-growing species that brood their larvae and recruit frequently."
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