Journal article

Factors affecting the evolution of bleaching resistance in corals

Troy Day, Laura Nagel, Madeleine JH Van Oppen, M Julian Caley

The American Naturalist | UNIV CHICAGO PRESS | Published : 2008


We present a mathematical model of coevolutionary interactions between partners in a coral-algae mutualistic symbiosis. Our goal is to better understand factors affecting the potential evolution of bleaching resistance in corals in response to increased average sea temperatures. We explore the evolutionary consequences of four factors: (i) trade-offs among fitness components, (ii) different proximate mechanisms of coral bleaching, (iii) the genetic determination of bleaching resistance, and (iv) the mode of sexual reproduction. We show that traits in mutualistic symbioses, such as thermal tolerance in corals, are potentially subject to novel kinds of evolutionary constraints and that these c..

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University of Melbourne Researchers