The Mighty Mighty Coral!

Above is a link to what I found to be a very interesting read! Researchers at Penn State and others have discovered that the some Elkhorn coral, Acropora palmate has genotypes that are over 5000 years old! This is big news because this means that the corals are able to respond environment changes, and can also help us understand how they will respond to current and future changes in the climate. However Iliana Baums says “On the other hand, the species we studied is now listed as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act because it has suffered such sharp population declines, indicating that there are limits to how much change even these very resilient corals can handle,” so it isn’t all good news and shows that even the mighty can fall! The article goes on to discuss the approach they took to the testing. The article concludes with a pretty interesting fact. Baums goes on to mention that before this only cold water corals were found to be older than 1000 years, now knowing the age of the corals it helps understanding the increase and decrease in the coral populations. Impacts such as human induced climate change are obviously playing an impact on the changes in the environment, and if we are seeing such decreases in the amount of coral population, there must be further research showing marine ecology, as a whole must be decreasing. It is important to note that coral are NOT plants, however they show us a good reflection of the ecology in the oceans.

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