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Fragile Corals

Fragile Corals

May 6, 2014

As part of an ongoing collaboration, students from the Perkins School for the Blind visited the WHOI Ocean Science Exhibit Center to learn about ocean acidification and its impacts on marine life. Here, Exhibit Center Manager Kathy Patterson (right) shows two students (left) and Perkins science teacher Kate Fraser two skeletal cores from living corals collected by Anne Cohen’s lab, where graduate students Hannah Barkley and Thomas DeCarlo are investigating how acidification affects coral reefs. Corals living in low pH seawater are more heavily eroded by boring organisms. Such damage, coupled with declines in coral calcification due to acidification, is making coral skeletons and reef structures more fragile.(Photo by Katherine Spencer Joyce, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)