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Steve O'Shea

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Has anyone found any evidence of extension of coral distributions into more northerly and southerly latitudes? This is what I would expect if 'global warming' was responsible (waters previously too cold would begin to harbour new coral growth).

With the coral disappearing I would also expect something else, something encrusting, to 'fill the niche'. Has anyone found anything to this effect?
 
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Steve O'Shea said:
Has anyone found any evidence of extension of coral distributions into more northerly and southerly latitudes? This is what I would expect if 'global warming' was responsible (waters previously too cold would begin to harbour new coral growth).

With the coral disappearing I would also expect something else, something encrusting, to 'fill the niche'. Has anyone found anything to this effect?


This is happening so quickly, and if the corals grow so slowly, would they be able to adapt soon enough?
 

Steve O'Shea

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sorseress said:
This is happening so quickly, and if the corals grow so slowly, would they be able to adapt soon enough?

They wouldn't be 'adapting', strictly speaking, but just colonising new habitat, previously too cold for them, that now had temperatures comparable to previous habitat (now too hot).
 
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If corals are going to die in their original areas, and might not colonize new areas fast enough, it might be an interesting endeavour for humans to attempt to colonize a suitable area. Take some native frags from aquaria out to a more northernly location than they were originally from. Attempt to match parameters as best as possible, and see if they take off.

Such an attempt would obvious have to be strictly monitored as to minimize damage to the new area, corals, etc., but it seems preferable to losing the corals entirely. Of course, I don't think we are quite at that point yet, but just a thought.

Cheers!
 

Euprymna

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Steve O'Shea said:
With the coral disappearing I would also expect something else, something encrusting, to 'fill the niche'. Has anyone found anything to this effect?

I would guess encrusting algae would be the first to take advantage of that! As they compete directly with corals. Eutrophication causes algae to grow over corals and kill them.

I also would agree with your idea Steve, that those corals with symbionts should slowly colonise areas that used to be too cold for them but with this switch, should now be the perfect conditions in terms of temperature ( but now what are the other factors limiting coral colonisation?? light, nutrients???).
This would be similar to story some british researchers have observe for some fish stocks in the North Sea.
what's next? Coral reefs in Newfoundland?

eups
 

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