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staghorn coral branch

Signs of stress

A staghorn coral branch (Acropora cervicornis) on a reef west of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, suffers from White Band Syndrome, a coral disease that has been a significant source of coral mortality throughout the Caribbean region. Coral diseases and bleaching events have increased since the 1980s due to human impacts to water quality and climate change. WHOI scientists Anne Cohen, Delia Oppo and Neal Cantin have been collecting coral cores from this region to investigate how corals are responding to changing ocean conditions, particularly temperature, over the last few hundred years. (Photo by Neal Cantin, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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