According to the latest researches regarding ecology, unlike many other marine species, corals are able to adapt to the increasing acidity of the ocean waters. While in the past it has been thought that the coral reefs will disappear as a result of the industrialization, the specialists have found that the corals chose the path of adaptation.
Gulf of California
The latest study has been conducted in the Gulf of California and in the Mexican Pacific. Here the researchers have found the remains of corals dating back to the early 1990s. The specialists are now working to compare the DNA and molecular structure of these corals with the corals that can be found underwater in our days.
The results of the study indicate that the acidification of the water slowed down the growth of the corals, but the changes aren’t substantial. It is interesting to note that the changes vary between male and female corals. At the moment it is said that the corals are healthy due to the genetic adaptation. However, if the acidity of the water increases, there might be a problem regarding the proportions of the genders.
It is a known fact that the acidity of the oceans is rising because of the carbon dioxide emissions. In the preindustrial period the pH of the ocean water has been of 8.15, but in the past few years this dropped to 8.05. This is a clear indication of the fact that the acidity of the water is constantly rising.
Although the coral reefs seem to be safe for the moment, the threat has not passed yet. According to the researchers, there is need for more extensive studies in order to find out which are the species that adapt to the new circumstances the most easily. It is also import to see how this phenomenon would influence the balance and harmony of the ecosystem.
In order to be prepared for whatever the future might bring, the specialists consider it important to come up with possible scenarios regarding the way the coral reefs may change. In order to do so there is need to run some tests in a controlled laboratory setting.
Even though you might not think much of the coral reefs, if something changes about them you can be sure that you will be affected as well, in one way or the other.