Aug 22, 2017

Sub-tropical corals vulnerable, new study shows

Great Barrier Reef, QLD
Australia
by
UQ News
Corals on a subtropical reef off eastern Australia. Photo: Brigitte Sommer
Corals on a subtropical reef off eastern Australia. Photo: Brigitte Sommer

The vulnerability and conservation value of sub-tropical reefs south of the Great Barrier Reef - regarded as climate change refuges – has been highlighted in a new study. 

University of Queensland School of Biological Sciences researcher Dr Brigitte Sommersaid the study of Eastern Australian reefs revealed coral species would likely shift their distribution southward in response to climate change.

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“In the subtropical-to-temperate transition zone south of the Great Barrier Reef, corals are at the limits of their distribution and environmental tolerances, as the water is cooler,” Dr Sommer said.