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Interdisciplinary Seminar: Mark Ciesielski
March 22, 2021 @ 12:20 pm - 1:20 pm
The UNC-CH Department of Marine Sciences presents the interdisciplinary seminar of graduate student, Mark Ciesielski. This event will be held on Monday, March 22nd, at 12:20 pm. This event will be held ONLINE ONLY and it will be available online via Zoom (Meeting ID: 910 3393 5080).
Seminar Title: Coral reef resilience and resistance to bleaching in the Red Sea under an increasing pressure from climate change.
Abstract: Under the continued pressures of global climate change and resulting rise in sea surface temperatures (SST), there has been an increasing trend in the number of coral bleaching events that have contributed to the loss and or damage to nearly half of world’s coral reefs since the early 1980’s. It has been observed that the Red Sea, one of the warmest and most saline of ocean basins, fosters numerous coral species that have shown resistance to bleaching even when temperatures were exceeding the average regional summertime maximum for longer than 4 weeks. The success of Red Sea corals in preserving the mutualistic relationship with their associated symbionts is not fully understood, but it is likely linked to evolutionary adaptations and strategies that were favorable when originally colonizing the basin under harsh conditions. For example, it has been observed that the thermal tolerant coral species of the Red Sea will modify metabolic activity to maintain energy reserves under extended warm periods. Additionally, the seasonal transition of monsoon winds that are a feature of the Red Sea may contribute to environmental conditions that promote resilience under prolonged thermal stress. Though there are recent reports that inconsistencies in wind and weather patterns could be exacerbating the impacts of increased SST, the Red Sea may prove to be a valuable refuge and offer insights into the future of coral reef resistance strategies.