‘Super Corals’ might save reefs from climate change

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The Great Barrier Reef, along with other enchanting reefs over the world, is hardly trying to make its way through with the severe effects of climate change – a fact known to all. Researchers however, are trying their best to do what they can in order to save whatever the reefs they can. Associate Professor David Suggett, the leader of the Future Reef’s program is one of the researchers working for this cause. His team has recently detected ‘hot spots’ of coral resilience, which they have named ‘super-corals’. According to Suggett, super corals might be able to combat the bleaching which was the cause of destroying a third of coral on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. “The big question we have at the moment is if we put these super corals out onto a reef, would they continue to grow as a normal coral, but importantly maintain their genetic superiority to resist stress? That’s a question that is very much at the forefront of where we want to go now with our research.” Suggett informed that through the regeneration of corals resistant to climate change, half a billion people, who are reliant on coral reefs for their living, could be benefitted all over the world, reports Radio New Zealand. “By exploring the very margins – such as reef-neighboring mangroves that are often ignored by coral surveys – we’re continually finding populations of super-coral that are resistant to hot, acidic and hypoxic conditions predicted under climate change,” mentioned Suggett. He further continued, “This is a game-changer for how we consider coral reef resilience into the future for the Great Barrier Reef.” According to Science Alert, the discovery of super corals was first identified by a team of international researchers in 2016 during a voyage to a remote lagoon in New Caledonia. Their result predicted that the lagoon had multiple communities of reef-building corals that can live in extreme conditions. Usually such conditions being associated with mangroves, the corals might probably be the best chance for survivors in oceans warming waters. One of the researchers Emma Camp, expressed, “The existence of corals living under this usually deadly trio of conditions, comparable and even exceeding what is predicted under climate change, gives us new hope that some corals will be able to persist into the future. These could indeed be the super corals of the future that will help support proactive management options attempting to upgrade reef resilience.” Publishing their research in Scientific Reports, the team made it clear that the new research cannot undo the harm that is already done. Suggett said, “Although our findings are extremely positive, we must not underestimate the threat to the world’s coral reefs from climate change.” –Agencies

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