Baby corals recolonize ghost reefs
Baby corals are appearing in Maldive Island reefs devastated by coral bleaching 15 years ago, offering hope of recovery, Scripps graduate student Jill Harris found on a trip to the Indian Ocean archipelago in July.
The Maldives were hard hit by a 1998 coral bleaching episode that wiped out many reefs in the Indian Ocean and elsewhere. Bleaching occurs when unusually warm water causes coral to swiftly expel the algae living in its tissue.
Although the bleaching occurs over days or weeks, the damage persists for decades or longer. Off the Lhaviyani Atoll in the Maldives, Harris and fellow Scripps Institution of Oceanography graduate student Levi Lewis saw the aftermath firsthand.
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