Heat-tolerant algae could rescue coral reefs

Posted by Mike Confino, February 28, 2015

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A new species of algae discovered in the Persian Gulf may help declining coral populations survive as climate change warms ocean temperatures and threatens reefs with often-fatal bleaching, according to a new report.

Researchers from the University of Southampton and New York University Abu Dhabi identified the algae while studying the world’s warmest coral reef habitat, located in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, to understand how it survived such extreme temperatures.

“Understanding how corals survive under the extreme temperatures in the Gulf will give us important insights into the ability of reef corals to handle the heat stress, which is threatening their survival in the oceans that are warming up in response to climate change,” Jörg Wiedenmann, professor of biological oceanography and head of the coral reef laboratory at the University of Southampton, said in a statement.

via Heat-tolerant algae could rescue coral reefs | Al Jazeera America.

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