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Southampton scientists' coral reef research breakthrough
12:50pm Wednesday 5th December 2012 in News
SOUTHAMPTON scientists have discovered the key reason coral reefs can be devastated by bleaching, in findings that could have major implications for marine conservation.
An imbalance of nutrients in reef waters can stop vital algae from surviving on coral, leaving them appearing white and at risk of dying, with major effects on ecosystems.
The algae and coral depend on each other for survival and Dr Jörg Wiedenmann, senior lecturer of Biological Oceanography at the university and head of the Coral Reef Laboratory, said the results could be important for the future design of marine reserves.