February 23, 2015 - Over the last four decades, the iconic elkhorn and staghorn corals that dominated Caribbean reefs for millions of years have all but disappeared. According to a new study from Florida Institute of Technology, ocean warming has played a significant role in this dramatic decline. The results of the study also suggest that limiting the rate of ocean warming, which would require curbing greenhouse gas emissions, could support the recovery of these critical reef-building corals.
White-band disease is a widespread coral disease that affects elkhorn and staghorn corals, and this disease has been plaguing these corals for decades. Florida Tech Ph.D. student Carly Randall and her faculty advisor, Robert van Woesik, studied the relationship between ocean temperatures and white-band disease and reported their findings in the February issue of Nature Climate Change. The study was posted this morning on the journal’s website at http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nclimate2530.
Read Full FIT Press Release: http://newsroom.fit.edu/2015/02/22/new-florida-tech-study-links-coral-disease-to-a-warming-atlantic/