Research Projects

Resiliency of corals in Florida Bay

Scientists from three divisions at the Rosenstiel School: Peter Swart, Marine Geology and Geophysics;, Chris Langdon, Marine Biology and Fisheries and Frank Millero, Marine and Atmospheric Chemisty are collaborating in a NSF-funded study into the resilience of two species too CO2 conditions in Florida Bay.

The two species of corals, Siderastrae radians and Solenastrae bourni, present great interest because of their capacity to grow very well in Florida Bay, despite seasonal extremes CO2. How do these organisms manage to cope with such difficult environmental conditions? The study will document the physical and chemical conditions over a two-year period and relate them to the photosynthesis and calcification rates of these two species measured in-situ. Finding more information about how these corals survive in such a stressful environment could offer important details to understanding the physiology of coral survival in general.

Fig. 1 Landsat image showing Florida Bay and location of study site.
Fig. 2 Coring the very large Solenastrae bourni colony (3 m dia) located at the study site to obtain a historical record of skeletal growth, density and calcification over the last approximately 50 years.