The role of water quality in preventing coral death

In the wake of the worst Great Barrier Reef bleaching event in history (and possibly on the eve of a similarly severe event), research into factors that affect bleaching is more important than ever.

Dr Line Bay at the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) is heading up TWQ Project 3.3.1, which focuses on the role of water quality in coral bleaching and recovery.

Using observations, experiments and data from AIMS’s SeaSim laboratory, the project will examine the effect that water quality factors such as light penetration, turbidity and nutrient levels have on the thermal tolerance of live coral.

Additionally the project will assess how temperature and water quality histories affected bleaching and coral recovery during the 2016 bleaching event. From these data, water quality management scenarios expected to maximize coral survival in a changing climate can be formed.


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