DEALING WITH DAMAGE

The effects of ocean acidificaiton and damage on corals

Graduate Student: Alex Yarid

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Coral reefs are extremely important places because of the many unique animals that live on them and the benefits they provide to humans. Coral reefs wouldn’t be around if it weren’t for the corals themselves. But life isn’t easy for the corals out on the reef. In order to survive, they have to face a number of challenges, such as being eaten! Many animals on the reef, like some fishes and snails, consider the corals a tasty snack. When a fish takes a bite of a coral, it takes time and energy for that coral to heal. Certain environmental variables, like temperature or depth, can affect the amount of time it takes for injured corals to make a full recovery.

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Alex Yarid is studying how future environmental conditions will affect the ability of injured corals to heal. Specifically, Alex looks at how increased seawater acidity affects the way in which corals respond to damage from fishes. He hopes that by better understanding how corals will deal with the current challenges they face under future conditions, researchers will be able to better predict what the reefs of the future will look like.



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