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October 2, 2017

Spotlight of the Week-10/2

 

While Mike was in Taiwan, he studied a unique phenomenon that occurs at Outlet Reef in Taiwan. Outlet Reef is a site within Nanwan Bay that experiences cold, deepwater upwelling during spring tidal cycles. However, the reef is also within close proximity to the Maanshan Nuclear Power Plant cooling canal outflow, so temperatures in the top five meters of the water column often exceed 32 C or 89.6 F. This highly variable temperature environment is hypothesized to select for corals with adaptations to regulate their microbial partners using changes in innate immunity activation, and may clarify how corals may respond to climate change. By understanding how these corals have adapted to these harsh temperature fluctuations, we may be able to discover ways to help with coral survival and limit bleaching events.

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