Rising seawater temperature and ocean acidification threaten the survival of coral reefs. The relationship between coral physiology and its microbiome may reveal why some corals are more resilient to these global change conditions. In a study published in PLOS One, Professor Andréa Grottoli and co-author Assistant Professor Michael Wilkins and their teams showed that coral with a stable microbiome also have stable physiology and are more tolerant of climate change conditions. Whereas corals with an unstable microbiome also show declines in physiological performance and are less tolerant of climate change conditions. Grottoli and her team propose that coral most likely to persist in the future and shape coral species diversity of future reef ecosystems are those with stable microbial communities and physiology in the face of climate change.
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