Coral reefs: corals' adaptive response to climate change.

Andrew C Baker, Craig J. Starger, Tim R. McClanahan, Peter W. Glynn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The long-term response of coral reefs to climate change depends on the ability of reef-building coral symbioses to adapt or acclimatize to warmer temperatures, but there has been no direct evidence that such a response can occur. Here we show that corals containing unusual algal symbionts that are thermally tolerant and commonly associated with high-temperature environments are much more abundant on reefs that have been severely affected by recent climate change. This adaptive shift in symbiont communities indicates that these devastated reefs could be more resistant to future thermal stress, resulting in significantly longer extinction times for surviving corals than had been previously assumed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNature
Volume430
Issue number7001
StatePublished - Aug 12 2004
Externally publishedYes

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Coral Reefs
Anthozoa
Climate Change
Temperature
Symbiosis
Hot Temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Baker, A. C., Starger, C. J., McClanahan, T. R., & Glynn, P. W. (2004). Coral reefs: corals' adaptive response to climate change. Nature, 430(7001).

Coral reefs : corals' adaptive response to climate change. / Baker, Andrew C; Starger, Craig J.; McClanahan, Tim R.; Glynn, Peter W.

In: Nature, Vol. 430, No. 7001, 12.08.2004.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Baker, AC, Starger, CJ, McClanahan, TR & Glynn, PW 2004, 'Coral reefs: corals' adaptive response to climate change.', Nature, vol. 430, no. 7001.
Baker AC, Starger CJ, McClanahan TR, Glynn PW. Coral reefs: corals' adaptive response to climate change. Nature. 2004 Aug 12;430(7001).
Baker, Andrew C ; Starger, Craig J. ; McClanahan, Tim R. ; Glynn, Peter W. / Coral reefs : corals' adaptive response to climate change. In: Nature. 2004 ; Vol. 430, No. 7001.
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