[Coral-List] new paper on coral disease in S Florida
jbruno at unc.edu
Thu Aug 11 08:35:01 EDT 2016
Yet another gloomy report; this one about disease wiping out corals in marginal and newly colonized habitat in SE Florida (Precht et al. 2016 - open access at the Nature journal Sci Reports): http://www.nature.com/articles/srep31374
Coral population densities on these reefs are very low and presumably some of these populations are recent colonization of northern, formerly too cool substrate. Those are still pretty cool locations for corals, so the assumption was they'd be safe-ish from the diseases that have ravaged corals across the Caribbean. I was diving off Jupiter last week (even further northward and about 100 miles north of the thermally preferable coral habitat to the south) for the first time in 25 years and was surprised by how much coral there is there now. But many colonies were infected or recently dead. This kind of result questions our assumptions about the ability of corals and other taxa to shift their ranges poleward as the oceans warm. At least thats one take on it.
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