Tropicalization in Western Australia: effects of changing light and temperature regimes on Western Australian corals (Honours 2017)
Coral reef habitats are an important ecosystem for many marine species, providing services that support both natural and socio-economic processes. Despite their importance, coral reefs are on the decline in many places around the world, in part due directly and indirectly to anthropogenic processes. With the Western Australian coastline showing a trend of warming into the future, coral habitats will be forced to migrate poleward to maintain optimal ambient temperatures and avoid bleaching. This introduces them to altered light regimes. It is the goal of my study to investigate how corals might be affected by concurrent changes in light and temperature regimes, to determine if higher latitudes could become a future haven for tropical corals. My results can also help explain how light and temperature influence the current distribution of tropical and temperate coral species in Western Australia and other tropical-temperate transition zones.
Supervisors: Chenae Tuckett, Thomas Wernberg
- 2016: BSc (Marine Science), University of Western Australia, Australia