Coral reefs could survive global warming, says study

Coral reefs could survive global warming, says study

News:

  1. Scientists found that coral-algal partnerships have endured numerous climate change events since the age of dinosaurs.

Important facts:

  1. Their relationship with algae has endured numerous climate change events in the past.
  2. The relationship between corals and the mutualistic micro-algae that enable them to build reefs is considerably older and more diverse than previously assumed, according to a study published in the journal Current Biology.
  3. Past estimates placed the initiation of these symbiotic relationships at 50 to 65 million years ago.
  4. The micro-algae, commonly called zooxanthellae, lives inside the cells of corals, allowing them to acquire energy from sunlight and to build the massive, economically valuable reef formations.
  5. Finding that the origin of the algal symbionts corresponds to major increases in the abundance and diversity of reef-building corals implies that the partnership with Symbiodiniaceae was one of the major reasons for the success of modern corals.
  6.  The team used genetic evidence — including DNA sequences, phylogenetic analyses and genome comparisons — to calculate the micro-algae’s approximate age of origin.
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