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Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems: A Lifeboat for Coral Reefs?

24 May 2016

The shallow coral reefs that we all know, are like the tip of an iceberg - they are the more visible part of an extensive coral ecosystem that reaches into depths far beyond where most people visit. The invisible reefs, known as mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs) are widespread and diverse, however they remain largely unexplored in most parts of the world. With the global climate heating up, the world’s shallow coral reefs are predicted to experience increasing levels of catastrophic bleaching. 

This report asks the question – can MCEs provide a “life boat” for shallow coral reefs that are suffering decimation from rising sea surface temperatures and other anthropogenic impacts?

Tags: marine environment biodiversity climate change coral reefs

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