Stony corals may be more resilient to ocean acidification than once thought, according to a Rutgers University study that shows they rely on proteins to help create their rock-hard skeletons.
“The bottom line is that corals will make rock even under adverse conditions,” said Paul G. Falkowski, a distinguished professor who leads the Environmental Biophysics and Molecular Ecology Laboratory at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. “They will probably make rock even as the ocean becomes slightly acidic from the burning of fossil fuels.”
The Rutgers team, including lead author Stanislas Von Euw, a post-doctoral research fellow in Falkowski’s lab, details its findings in a pioneering study published online today in the journal Science. Using a materials science approach, the team tapped several high-tech imaging methods to show that corals use acid-rich proteins to build rock-hard skeletons made of calcium carbonate minerals.
Read Full Story: Phys.org/Rutgers University
Photo: Nick Hobgood/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)
To view the Creative Commons license for the image, click here.
Become a citizen of our global ocean community today by visiting us at: www.theterramarproject.org