Corals found thriving in warmer temperatures and more acidic waters have given researchers “hope” for future conservation amid climate change.
The so-called “super corals” were found in Hawaii’s ‘ Bay despite the warmer, more acidic conditions found there.
The reefs had been “devastated” by pollution from the 1930s to the 1970s, researchers said.
However they have somewhat recovered despite acidity and temperatures being higher than other reefs in Hawaii.
“Despite catastrophic loss in coral cover owing to human disturbance, these reefs recovered under low pH and high temperature within 20 years after sewage input was diverted,” the researches wrote in a Royal Society journal.
They collected samples of the reef and compared them with others taken from one around 11 miles away.
In doing so they found they weathered the adverse conditions better and also grew at faster rates.
This finding gives hope over the “resilience” of coral reefs, experts said, and shows they are not beyond saving.
“We won’t save every coral or every reef – many are already gone – but neither is it inevitable that we are going to lose all of them,” Christopher Jury, a marine biologist at the University of Hawaii who led the new research, told Discovery Magazine.
“If we seriously reduce the rate of climate change and the intensity of local stressors, we can still give the survivors a chance.”
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However, they believe even tough strains of coral could suffer if climate change is not averted, according to Discovery Magazine.
In an abstract of their research, scientists concluded: “These results indicate that reducing human stressors offers hope for reef resilience and effective conservation over coming decades.”
According to the World Wildlife Federation, coral reefs occupy around 0.1 per cent of the ocean but support 25 per cent of all marine species.
Climate change, overfishing and pollution have been deemed major threats to them.
Source:: Daily times