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Press Release 13-108

Natural Underwater Springs Show How Coral Reefs Respond to Ocean Acidification

Ocean acidification reduces the density of coral skeletons, making them more vulnerable

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Coral reef as seen underwater

Researchers study how coral responds to ocean acidification at natural undersea springs.

Credit: Elizabeth Crook


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corals and fish at submarine springs along the Caribbean Coast of Mexico.

Vibrant coral community at submarine springs along the Caribbean Coast of Mexico.

Credit: Elizabeth Crook


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Diver deploying a metal pH sensor near coral reef

Scientists deploy pH sensors to find out how acid the waters are near the springs.

Credit: Elizabeth Crook


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Fish, plants and the coral reef

Submarine springs and the coral reefs that live near them sustain other species.

Credit: Elizabeth Crook


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Denizens of the reefs near springs

Denizens of the reefs near the springs depend on healthy corals.

Credit: Elizabeth Crook


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Eroded coral growing in more acidic conditions

Some corals grow in low pH (more acid) conditions, but are more easily eroded.

Credit: Elizabeth Crook


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