East Pacific, "natural laboratory" to study climate crisis

Panama- The eastern pacific corals of Latin America They are a “natural laboratory” for study the impact and evolution of the climate crisis to level global thanks to its natural characteristics, scientists participating in an international congress in Panama told Efe.

“Now there is a lot of attention on the Pacific of America (from Mexico to Ecuador) of the corals, for that condition of being a natural laboratory to understand climate change”, explained the Doctor Juan Jose Alvaradofrom the Center for Research in Marine Sciences and Limnology, in Costa Rica.

the east of the Pacific of Latin America has a low “coral diversity”with about 27 species (scarce compared to other areas of the planet), and the Pocillopora eIt’s the most “dominant, which covers almost 90% of reefs“, explained the scientist Mathieu Leray, from the Smithsonian Institute in Panama.

“Surely (those coral species) are here because they can survive the conditions that exist in the region,” Leray said.

The coral reefs of this area have a particular characteristic: they are “very resilient”that is to say that at suffer “an impact, I know recover in a timely manner because they fly to that health condition, they have that elasticity condition that allows them to receive an impact and recover,” Alvarado said.

“The region has been historically under stress“, corals “are usually in acrystal clear, low in nutrientsconcert temperature degree, and those conditions do not exist in the region,” said the scientist from Costa Rica.

And he explained that in this area “there are very drastic changes in temperature, a lot of rain, currents, the continental shelf is narrow, so the corals are in patches” or small isolated reefs that grow from the open bottom of the insular or continental shelf, he explained.

“The chemical conditions are very different from other parts, you could even say that they are more acidic from other regions. That causes their skeleton to be deposited differently, let’s say that it is less compact but it grows. It is as if we were talking about a person and their bones, that some grow healthy, others grow but have a weakness. But it’s natural, it’s their own “he pointed.

Alvarado said that “thinking about the climate change, in future scenarios, and in other regions of the planet, those conditions do not have and it isn suffering for it, Instead, here they already have the adaptation and it allows them that resilience to recover.”


“Corals, because they have very low diversity, also make the reef fragile because if there are abnormal conditions, for example, the water temperature is very hot, these species are sensitive to these temperature changes, which can lead to the death of all the corals. of the reef”, toLeray pointed.

This situation, according to the scientist it’s happened before in the regionto the end of the 20th century “When he passed from 70% coral cover a almost zero“, although later they had a good recovery.

“It was a natural thing, but we can imagine that with climate change (there will be) a frequency of those warming events,” the scientist visualized.

And the issueif that pass, andI know whatand they are going to collapse, going to die and have time to recover if the next heat wave comes early.

“What we are doing is understanding how we can help by thinking about the restoration of these reefs, in the future looking for the most resistant coral genotypes to plant and study and see how they will respond to those next heat waves,” he concluded.

Both experts participate in the Latin American Congress of Marine Sciences (COLACMAR 2002), which concludes this Friday in City of Panama after a week of activities. EFE

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Source: Critica

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Varun Kumar

Varun Kumar is a freelance writer working on news website. He contributes to Our Blog and more. Wise also works in higher ed sustainability and previously in stream restoration. He loves running, trees and hanging out with her family.

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