Acidification threatens Barrier Reef coral: researchers

A new study has found ocean acidification can affect the behaviour of baby corals in the Great Barrier Reef off Queensland.

University of Queensland (UQ) researchers have been analysing how ocean acidification affects the settlement of baby corals in the reef.

UQ Professor Peter Mumby says changes in the ocean are making the corals “stupid”.

“It implies that much of the biology of corals in terms of how they behave could be disrupted as the oceans change their chemistry,” he said.

“Once the system has become acidified, they just lose that ability and they settle pretty much anywhere and often in very hostile environments.

“Our concern is as the oceans become more acidic, that the survival of new corals could go down.

“If corals effectively become more stupid, which is essentially what we’re saying, then it might mean a number of corals settling on a reef will decline.”


Stephanie Fitzpatrick, ABC News, 18 April 2012. Article.

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