0:58 minutes
Problem 9
Textbook Question

Coral reefs are biodiverse ecosystems that provide food, income, coastal protection, and many other services to millions of people. Yet coral reefs are under threat from human impacts such as climate change—many corals cannot tolerate the warming ocean water and have suffered massive “bleaching” events, which can be fatal. Researchers have discovered that some corals have the capacity to acclimatize to warmer water, while other corals do not. The researchers fear that because corals are long-lived colonial animals and thus evolve slowly, they may not be able to adapt to global warming fast enough to avoid extinction. Explain how the difference between acclimatize and adapt is important to the fate of corals.

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