14 May 2012

Scientists gain better grip of coral reefs

5:05 am on 14 May 2012

Scientists researching coral reefs in American Samoa say they are gaining better understanding of Climate change-resilient corals they say are vital to the survival of hundreds of thousands of species.

The Director of the Marine Laboratory at Stanford University in California has been studying corals capable of withstanding ocean warming, in order to determine the diversity of ecosystems that can surivive within them.

Stephen Palumbi says there is evidence in American Samoa that faster growing corals can withstand more heat and light than other species of coral.

"Now we know that there are stronger corals in the world. We're getting a better handle on where to look for them and we're getting a better idea of how to do the simple tests we need in order to show that they are strong. Where we still have to go with this is to get a better map of where those stronger corals are."

Stephen Palumbi says more effort is need to protect coral reefs.