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Corals Thrive Better In Turbid Waters, Study Reveals New Findings

First Posted: Dec 23, 2015 01:31 PM EST
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A team of scientists found that corals can survive better in warm oceans where the water is clouded by floating particles, according to a study at the Florida Institute of Technology.

The study was led by scientists Chris Cacciapaglia and Rob van Woesik whose research showed that moderate levels of turbidity, which is cloudy water, could help lower stress by shading the corals from extremely high light.

"We've identified refuges from climate change, where naturally turbid environments will reduce the temperature stress predicted for 2100," Cacciapaglia said, in a news release.

Coral reefs are considered to be one of the most diverse marine ecosystems on earth. Coral reefs are currently under increasing amounts of stress and they are dying in many areas across the world as oceans become warmer. When high levels of sunlight is combined with unnaturally warm temperatures, corals do not have much of a change of surviving.

The researchers study shows that locations that have turbidity will allow corals to survive.

"Naturally turbid environments may be among the few places where coral species survive in a warmer climate" van Woesik said.

The findings of this study were published in the journal Global Change Biology.

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