Corals help their offspring adapt to climate change • Earth.com

Corals help their offspring adapt to climate change

01-30-2020


Corals help their offspring adapt to climate change Today’s Video of the Day from the University of Southern California reveals that coral reefs can pass along protective symbionts to the next generation as a way to cope with stress.

Corals form beneficial, or symbiotic, relationships with the algae colonies inside their cells.

For the first time, scientists have discovered that corals pass these organisms along to their offspring to help them survive global warming and other stressors. 

“What we’re finding is that corals can pass their shuffled complement of algal partners, or symbionts, to their offspring to bestow a potential survival advantage, and that’s a new discovery,” said Professor Carly Kenkel.

“We care about this because coral reefs do so much for us. A reef provides breakwater for storms, fish protein people need and biodiversity we love and find beautiful.” Also you can see that coral reefs can benefit humans by protecting shorelines from the full onslaught of storm-driven waves. Humans, however, are responsible for causing severe damage to coral reefs. Reefs are often destroyed by collectors, who use coral to create jewelry, and fisherman, who use poison or dynamite to catch fish. As seen above the video the corals help their offspring adapt to climate change therefore showing the affects of how the corals can adapt. Around a coral reef live many animals such as sponges, mollusks, crustaceans, sea anemones, a wide variety offish, and even the coral itself is an animal.

The study is published in the journal Scientific Reports.

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

Video Credit: University of Southern California

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