Stress Test for Corals
Creating an early warning system for corals under stress.
A new and innovative approach could help create an early warning system for coral reefs under stress before any physical signs are visible.
James Cook University is developing tests at the frontier of reef science to diagnose coral stress and the likelihood of recovery and survival. This project is developing indices of coral health that can be used to evaluate future responses to climate change.
Specifically, the project utilises two novel approaches; metabolite biomarkers and regeneration and survival indicators, to develop markers for symptoms of stress, recovery and health in corals.
These approaches provide the first widely applicable metric encompassing pre-bleaching stress, stress from bleaching events and post-bleaching recovery, and the first direct measurement of coral health that is applicable across the Great Barrier Reef, regardless of target species, reef location or local environmental variables.