High salinity protects corals from heat stress

25 February, 2018

Scientists have long suspected that corals living in very salty water can also tolerate higher water temperatures, but the link has never been verified. Now, KAUST researchers have shown that salinity directly influences the ability of the coral model organism Aiptasia to cope in warmer water and may have identified the compound that helps this process.

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Systematic experiments on a species of sea anemone indicates that increased salinity promotes thermotolerance in the presence of specific symbionts. The findings hold implications for the impact of climate change on coral reefs.
© 2018 Hagen M. Gegner