25 March 2009

Written in the bones

On a human timescale, there is no sustainable harvest of [giant deep water corals]. We know next to nothing about how they spawn, settle and regenerate, but I have seen very few younger and smaller colonies, so even slow regeneration might not be a very likely option...

Given their slow growth [however], we may be able to use them as high-resolution records of past climate change.
-- Brendan Roark quoted here in reference to this paper.

See also this 2008 note on an earlier study.

On old corals in shallow waters see Marine Methuselahs.

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