delware environmental institute

UDaily: Study shows how some coral can survive annual bleaching events

UDaily: Study shows how some coral can survive annual bleaching events

A year ago, researchers from University of Delaware and Ohio State University discovered that fat helps coral survive heat stress over the short term — and now it seems that fat helps coral survive over the long term, too.

The study offers important clues as to which coral species are most likely to withstand repeated bouts of heat stress, called “bleaching,” as climate change warms ocean waters worldwide.

In the Nov. 18 issue of the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, the research team, which includes UD marine science professor Mark Warner, reports that the same fat-storing coral species that showed the most resilience in a 2014 bleaching study has recovered more fully in the year since, compared to other species that stored less fat.