Navigation Links
Where can coral reefs relocate to escape the heat?

Fossil fuel emissions are impacting corals through high temperatures which can cause their deaths and ocean acidification which makes it difficult for them to produce their skeletons. In a study published today in Global Change Biology, Dr Elena Couce, Professor Andy Ridgwell and Dr Erica Hendy used computer models to predict future shifts in the global distribution of coral reef ecosystems under these two stressors.

The researchers found that warming impacts were dominant, with a significant decline in suitability for corals near the equator.

Dr Couce said: "Just as we have to take into account many factors when deciding where to live and juggle the trade-offs such as proximity to a city centre or the desire for a garden, whether a coral reef can establish or not depends on conflicting stressors. Global warming is stronger at the equator and drives corals away into higher latitudes, whereas acidification is stronger close to the poles and pushes coral habitat towards the equator."

Dr Hendy said: "We also found that some areas where conditions are currently borderline for corals, such as the eastern Pacific Ocean, could remain as they are or even become more suitable. This was unexpected and has important implications for coral management, as it suggests that these areas are not necessarily a 'lost cause'."

Coral reefs are very sensitive to future changes. They are also very important to life in the oceans, with the highest biodiversity of all marine ecosystems.

Dr Couce continued: "By 2070 we predict that the Western Pacific, including the area known as the 'Coral Triangle', the bridge between Asia and Australia, will become much less suitable for corals. This is concerning because the Coral Triangle is a biodiversity hotspot containing over 70 per cent of known coral species. Conditions in the Great Barrier Reef in Australia will also get worse, although less rapidly, since it is farther away from the equator."

Professor Ridgwell added: "Suitability for corals gets better at the limits of the current coral reef distribution. But a possible move into higher latitudes will also be difficult. Range expansion is constrained by availability of shallow water areas with adequate light penetration for coral larvae to settle and form new reefs."


Contact: Hannah Johnson
University of Bristol

Related biology news :

1. Water, water everywhere - but is it essential to life?
2. UCSD researchers: Where international climate policy has failed, grassroots efforts can succeed
3. Civil engineers find savings where the rubber meets the road
4. Nowhere to hide: New device sees bacteria behind the eardrum
5. Report addresses challenges in implementing new diagnostic tests where they are needed most
6. Nature or nurture? It may depend on where you live
7. Where we split from sharks: Common ancestor comes into focus
8. Where to put nuclear waste?
9. Success of engineered tissue depends on where its grown
10. Coral scientists use new model to find where corals are most likely to survive climate change
11. Risk of cardiac arrest depends on where you live
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/6/2015)... SALT LAKE CITY , Oct. 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... solutions company, announced today that it has signed a ... electronic monitoring services across the full range of sentences ... Track Group,s President of the Americas. "This contract with ... Eastern region of the US and advances our position ...
(Date:10/5/2015)... October 5, 2015 ... for NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXTD ), a biometric ... --> ) releases the ... NXTD ), a biometric authentication company focused on ... Technology Group ( ) releases the ...
(Date:10/1/2015)... YORK , Oct. 1, 2015  Biometrics ... and analysing human body characteristics, such as fingerprints, ... authentication purposes. Adoption of biometrics technology has been ... over the last five years. In addition to ... that is fingerprint recognition, other means of biometric ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2015)... Belgium , Oct. 12, 2015 ... full results from a completed clinical study of its NuQ ... been published in the online issue of Clinical Epigenetics ... peer-reviewed study was conducted in collaboration with Lund ... by Roland Andersson , MD, PhD, Professor of Surgery ...
(Date:10/10/2015)... 10 octobre 2015 Le 8 octobre, l,honorable Doris ... Registre du Congrès sa déclaration de soutien à ... autour du plasma (IPAW), qui se tiendra du ... Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association (PPTA) et ... , Sensibiliser l,opinion publique mondiale autour du ...
(Date:10/9/2015)... DIEGO , Oct. 9, 2015  DePuy Synthes ... Flex with Q-PACK ®  Technology**, the only ... in trauma-related extremity procedures (foot and ankle, hand and ... announcement was made here at the 2015 Orthopaedic Trauma ... (provides a natural scaffold for new bone growth) and ...
(Date:10/8/2015)... PALM BEACH, Fla. , Oct. 8, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... leader in synthetic biology, today announced the appointment of ... Head of Environment Sector, succeeding Nir Nimrodi ... Development.  Mr. Vaillancourt will direct Intrexon,s endeavors to generate ... North America , where he held a ...
Breaking Biology Technology: