Washington: In a first, researchers have found that coral bleaching events across the world are influenced not only by rising water temperatures, but also by a wide range of other factors like the longitudinal location at sea where the reefs are present. The study noted that some coral locations — such as those in Fiji — responded better to stress than others.
“Our results suggest that coral responses to global climate change may be changing as corals have different past experiences and tolerances to heat and stress,” said Tim McClanahan, co-author of the study from WCS. Reef communities are symbiotic relationships between corals and algae that give their hosts colour and sustenance, the researchers said.
The study noted that under stressful conditions, the corals expelled the algae, giving up the symbiotic relationship, and losing its colour — a process known as coral bleaching.