23 April 2012

Death of coral reefs: exaggerated?

We demonstrate that important functional components of coral assemblages “sample” space differently at 132 sites separated by up to 1740 km, leading to complex latitudinal shifts in patterns of absolute and relative abundance. The flexibility in community composition that we document along latitudinal environmental gradients indicates that climate change is likely to result in a reassortment of coral reef taxa rather than wholesale loss of entire reef ecosystems.
-- from Assembly Rules of Reef Corals Are Flexible along a Steep Climatic Gradient by Terry P. Hughes et al.

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