Acroporid corals migrating pole-ward along Australian coast
Coral Reefs is reporting on this scientific first finding just off the coast of Australia.
In their paper "Pole-ward range expansion of Acropora spp. along the east coast of Australia" researchers Baird, Sommer and Madin report observing this expansion. In their report, Baird's group observed four Acroporid corals further pole-ward than found before along the eastern Australian coast: Acropora intermedia (a), A. microclados (b), A. monticulosa (c) and A. gemmifera.
The specimens that the group found are easily recognizable and all of the colonies found were large. The size of the colonies would make missing them highly unlikely in the survey that took place in 1994, 18 years prior.
According to the research group, the average water temperature in this area has increased by 0.5 °C since 1975, which could indicate that the corals are now able to survive in these areas especially given the colony sizes found in this survey.
This finding could indicate that corals are migrating pole-ward in response to climate change.