UNESCO researchers have discovered a very special and healthy coral reef. A ray of hope for all corals at risk?
Our planet is full of unexpected treasures, many of which lie in the depths of the oceans. Last November, UNESCO-affiliated researchers in the South Pacific made a surprising discovery. Near Tahiti they came huge Coral reefs Very special and in excellent health. They just posted absolutely amazing photos to explore.
We discover an enchanting landscape, where every meter of land is dotted with elegant spirals of coral. In fact, visually, this reef has nothing to do with the most famous of them, such as the Great Barrier Reef. Here it makes no sense to look for the famous characteristic ramifications; Alternatively, there are varieties of giant “roses” that can be more than two meters in diameter.
“It was magical to see these beautiful giant coral roses as far as the eye can seeAlexis Rosenfeld, the French underwater photographer associated with the expedition, explains to which we owe these extraordinary images.
Luxurious flower field on the edge of a cliff
The researchers say the size suggests these corals may have been blooming for decades. The fact that this botanical garden landscape is not visible for a long time near a tourist attraction is due to its unusual location. In fact, this coral reef has taken up residence among 30 and 70 meters, much deeper than the usual reef.
Actually only one small portion of sunlight It finds its way to that depth. So it is a somewhat closed area; The most sensitive beings don’t risk it, but those who live there are generally real survivors, with some modifications that have allowed them to do so. settles on the edge of the abyss.
And the beautiful roses that make this coral attractive are just one of these mods. In fact, corals feed almost exclusively by filtration Plankton Those found in water, vegetables (phytoplankton) or animals (zooplankton). But due to the lack of available light, these prey, which are usually abundant, are rather scarce at this depth.
Prey scarcity is a selective pressure. These corals have been forced to adapt for generations to survive. as it happens, Natural selection eventually favored this strange flat shape; This gives the petals with extra large filtration surface, This allows them to defend themselves despite the scarcity of prey.
But these reefs are not just a scenic resource; It is also an exceptional ecosystem in many ways, both scientifically and ecologically. “It’s a one-time positive story about coral reefs, which is pretty rare these days.Julien Barbier, Head of UNESCO’s Maritime Department, applauds.
What gets researchers so excited is the state of conservation of this reef, which researchers currently consider to be “unparalleled.” Indeed, it is an exception at a time when most coral reefs are affected by global warming, changes in marine biodynamics, and ocean acidification.
So the researchers were surprised to find such a devastated coral reef. They will continue to study these reefs with special interest; So they hope Read more about how these corals have managed to survive Despite the changing conditions of their environment, while their counterparts are often in poor condition. These findings can then be incorporated into coral conservation efforts.
“We think these deep reefs are better protected from global warmingMarine biologist Laetitia Hadwin explains to CNN.The discovery of such a pristine coral reef is good news that could inspire further conservation efforts.Locate.
The fate of coral reefs is an absolute emergency
That would really be a ray of hope for this very basic species in marine biodynamics. There is an urgent need. Some researchers estimate that half of the coral reefs found in the 1950’s may have already disappeared. Other work indicates that there may be acidification by 2100 Eradicate coral reefs once and for all.
This would be a real ecological disaster because coral reefs do not exist in a vacuum. They are big players in their ecosystems; Thus, the survival of thousands of species of animals and plants of all kinds directly depends on the relationship that they have with coral reefs, either directly or indirectly. If the latter were to disappear, it would be a death knell for a large portion of these species and for all marine biodynamics as we know it, with dire consequences for the biosphere.
For researchers, this is the perfect opportunity to remember the importance of our oceans. They also insist that science should devote significant resources to it. “We see major investments in space exploration coming when we don’t have enough money to study our home, and the ocean in particular., Julian Barbier sorry for CNN.I think this is something that needs to be emphasized over the next 10 years – creating the knowledge needed to get the planet back on a healthier path through ocean conservation.Concludes.
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