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The red corals pass heat stress test

  • Category
    Environment
  • Published
    10th May, 2021

In spite of the real threat caused by global warming, corals in the Red Sea look set to keep their vibrant color and to pass the heat test with flying color

About

About the Red Coral

  • It is also known as Precious coral.
  • The common name given to this marine corals is Corallium
  • The scientific name given to this is Stylophora pistillata.
  • It grows at depths from 10 to 300 meters below sea level.
  • It is originally found in Mediterranean Sea.
    • It is also found in Atlantic sites near the Strait of Gibraltar, at the Cape Verde Islands and off the coast of southern Portugal.
    • Other Corallium species are native to the western Pacific, notably around Japan and Taiwan;

Global warming and coral bleaching

  • The global warming is pushing ocean temperatures above the limit that the coral can withstand.
  • Even under the most optimistic scenarios, most of the coral reef ecosystems on our planet in Australia, the Maldives or the Caribbean are threatened with disappearance.

Coral bleaching

  • Coral is single-cell algae that live inside coral tissue for protection and, in exchange, provide corals with essential nutrients produced through photosynthesis.
  • Because the algae contain a variety of pigments and therefore give coral reefs their famous colors, if they are lost the corals turn white, which is known as coral bleaching
  • The corals in the Gulf of Aqaba, at the northern tip of the Red Sea, were particularly resistant to higher temperatures.
    • those corals, as well as the algae and bacteria they live in symbiosis with, can withstand average temperatures some 5°C higher than what they typically experience
  • Reason behind the survival: They can withstand with their molecular machinery, which means they're naturally shielded against the temperature increases.
    • They show a rapid gene expression response and recovery pattern when exposed to heat stress.
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