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Florida mangrove-coral study will be presented at Mote Marine Laboratory’s Protect Our Reefs project meeting and on bioRxiv

Christina Kellogg (SPCMSC Research Microbiologist) will present results of the study “Identifying Mangrove-Coral Habitats in the Florida Keys” at Mote Marine Laboratory’s virtual Protect Our Reefs (POR) project meeting. This project meeting is to showcase the results of POR-funded projects from the previous year. The manuscript describing the study is available on the preprint se

A knobby coral clings to two mangrove prop roots in cloudy water
A Porites porites coral clings to mangrove prop roots in a mangrove-coral habitat in the Florida Keys. These mangrove-coral habitats may be climate refugia for corals and could be included in ecosystem management plans and considered for their applications in coral restoration, for example, as a source of adapted genetic resources, places to support growth and acclimation of coral outplants, or natural laboratories to test survival of different genotypes. (Credit: Photo courtesy of Ryan Moyer, Ph.D., Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission.)

Coral reefs are degrading due to many synergistic stressors. Recently there have been a number of global reports of corals occupying mangrove habitats that provide a supportive environment or refugium for corals, sheltering them by reducing stressors such as oxidative light stress and low pH. This was the first study to search for mangrove-coral habitats in the Florida Keys.  Co-authors on the study include Kimberly Yates (SPCMSC Research Oceanographer), Ryan Moyer and Mary Jacobsen (Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation/Florida Fish & Wildlife Research Institute).

The paper is published on the preprint server, under review at journal PeerJ. For more information about the habitats in the Florida Keys, watch the Mangrove-Coral Habitats Story Map.

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