Lobster Hole on St. John’s East End
Why are some corals flourishing in a time of global warming?
A new study investigates why gorgonian corals, which can form a ‘canopy’ over reefs, appear to be proliferating in certain places
By Charlotte Hsu
Release Date: September 10, 2013
BUFFALO, N.Y. — As Earth’s temperature climbs, the stony corals that form the backbone of ocean reefs are in decline.
It’s a well-documented story: Violent storms and coral bleaching have all contributed to dwindling populations, and increasing acidity of seawater threatens to take an additional toll.
Less discussed, however, is the plight of gorgonian corals — softer, flexible, tree-like species that can rise up like an underwater forest, providing a canopy beneath which small fish and aquatic life of all kinds can thrive.
Divers have noted in recent years that gorgonian corals seem to be proliferating in certain areas of the Caribbean, even as their stony counterparts struggle…. read more