Researchers Find Injured Coral Have Less Sex; 'They Don't Necessarily Look Damaged'
Source: Underwater Times
December 17, 2012
BUFFALO, New York -- Coral colonies that suffered tissue damage in The Bahamas were still producing low numbers of eggs four years after the injuries occurred, according to new research by University at Buffalo scientists. Tiny sperm-producing factories called spermaries were also in short supply. The slow recovery was a surprise, said UB geology professor Howard Lasker, PhD, who led the study on the coral species Antillogorgia elisabethae.
"The really interesting finding was that four years later, these colonies were still displaying an effect," Lasker said. "They don't necessarily look damaged anymore, but it takes some time to get back to where they were in terms of reproduction."
"This research has broader repercussions," Lasker said. "When you start talking about damage to reefs from events like hurricanes, you might say that the coral survived, that it lost some tissue, but it's still reproducing. That's true, but we now know the corals are not quite as healthy as we thought."
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