As sea temperatures continue to warm, more and more severe coral bleaching events are occurring, killing off coral communities.
A new study produced by a team at The University of Melbourne has shown for the first time that corals surviving these bleaching events have the ability to swap algae partners, helping them to better adapt to climate change.
According to study lead, Ms Nadine Boulotte, most corals were previously believed to only acquire microalgae in their juvenile stage, and to house the same algae types for their lifetime. However, she explains that the findings from her study show that “some adult corals can be promiscuous, and swap their algal partners later in life.”
This research is timely following the major coral bleaching event on the Northern Great Barrier Reef and will inform future research for understanding corals that build reefs.
Read more here: The University of Melbourne.