Unexpected: Some Pacific coral reefs are thriving in highly acidic waters

A scuba diver  takes water samples by coral bed

Some coral reefs in the Pacific Ocean can not only survive but thrive in waters that have high levels of acidification, according to a Texas A&M University researcher.

Oceanographer Katie Shamberger and colleagues from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) examined coral reefs around the islands of Palau in the western Pacific Ocean.  Her findings have been published in Geophysical Research Letters, a publication of the American Geophysical Union.

Shamberger measured the pH levels of seawater on several coral reefs in Palau and found that coral reefs in the Rock Islands of Palau have high levels of acidification that aren’t expected to occur in the open ocean in that region until the end of the century.  Contrary to what might have been expected, these reefs appeared to be healthier than nearby reefs in less acidic waters.

More at TAMUTimes.

#TAMUresearch

Share