As Threats to Corals Grow, Hints of Resilience Emerge

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Science  29 Mar 2013:
Vol. 339, Issue 6127, pp. 1517-1519
DOI: 10.1126/science.339.6127.1517

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Around the globe, a growing corps of scientists is searching for resilient reefs and then trying to identify what enables them to resist or bounce back from severe environmental stress. They've found tantalizing hints that heat-resistance genes, the proximity of other reefs, and even the presence of plant-eating sea life that scrub corals free of weedy algae can play a role. But they're also discovering that the factors that promote resilience can vary greatly from reef to reef.

  • * Charles Schmidt is a writer living in Portland, Maine.