An In-depth Overview Of Major Elements In
All kinds of research teams, from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to Florida universities, have joined the effort to defeat this coral killer. And since our warming oceans are already putting Florida’s corals under a lot of stress , the world’s third largest reef might not be in good enough shape to withstand a disease like this one. Biologists are pretty sure the so-called “white syndrome” is a bacterial infection. But narrowing down which species of bacteria is responsible would mean they would have to infect a healthy coral with the bacterial suspects in the lab. But like your own body, corals host a huge range of bacteria even when healthy, so isolating the one responsible has turned out to be difficult. It’s also managed to pass between reefs that are physically separated, like those on either side of the Seven Mile Bridge, that researchers didn’t think a disease could cross. In short, its progression is unpredictable. Since the disease is moving so quickly, researchers don’t have time to identify the culprit before trying to stop it. And, seriously, they’re trying everything: cutting out the diseased corals, applying chlorine- or antibiotic-laced patches to corals as a kind of disinfectant. None of these have done the trick. Right now, hopes are riding on combat tactic that is slower-growing, literally. Mote Marine Lab, a private, independent marine research facility in Florida, grows brain corals that can replace parts of a reef that have suffered the most damage. So far, their brain corals are resistant to the disease, though they don’t do much to help the remaining corals around it survive.
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