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“Lost” coral species found “inside” another species

Of course, the story raises the question of just how important saving "species" (see speciation) is. A shift in an ecology can be critical but the disappearance, reappearance, or brand new development of a hard-to-distinguish species may not have much environment impact. Read More ›

Common coral species features unique immune strategy

From ScienceDaily: Roughly 30 percent of the cauliflower coral’s (Pocillopora damicornis) genome was unique compared to several other reef-building corals. In this 30%, many of these genes were related to immune function. This diversity of genes related to immune function, the researchers say, may be important for the long-term survival of coral reefs as climate change and ocean acidification continue to alter the environment to which corals are adapted. “This coral is traditionally thought of as a weed, and yet it may be one of the last corals to survive environmental changes such as climate change,” said senior author of the study Nikki Traylor-Knowles, an assistant professor of marine biology and ecology at the UM Rosenstiel School. An animal like Read More ›