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'Super reefs' fend off climate change, study says
Date:4/23/2009

reefs are particularly complex and experience unusual variations in current and water temperature. These factors allow for greater survivorship of a higher diversity of coral species, including those that can quickly re-colonize after bleaching.

"Northern Tanzania's reefs have exhibited considerable resilience and in some cases improvements in reef conditions despite heavy pressure from climate change impacts and overfishing," noted Wildlife Conservation Society scientist Dr. Tim McClanahan, the study's lead author. "This gives cause for considerably more optimism that developing countries, such as Tanzania, can effectively manage their reefs in the face of climate change."

The authors suggest that reefs in Tanzania and elsewhere that exhibit similar environmental conditions have the ability to recover from large-scale climatic and human disturbances. They may, therefore, be a priority for conservation under predicted climate change scenarios where many reefs are expected to suffer further degradation.

On a broader scale, the Wildlife Conservation Society is actively conserving nearly 90 percent of the world's tropical coral reef species in priority seascapes in Belize, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Kenya and Madagascar.


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Contact: Stephen Sautner
ssautner@wcs.org
718-220-3682
Wildlife Conservation Society
Source:Eurekalert

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