Journal article

Predicting coral adaptation to global warming in the Indo-West-Pacific

Mikhail Matz, Eric Treml, Benjamin Haller

Published : 2019

Abstract

ABSTRACT The potential of reef-building corals to adapt to increasing sea surface temperatures is often speculated about but has rarely been comprehensively modeled on a region-wide scale. Here, we used individual-based simulations to model adaptation to warming in a coral metapopulation comprising 680 reefs and representing the whole of the Central Indo-West Pacific. We find that in the first century of warming (approximately from 50 years ago to 50 years in the future) corals adapt rapidly by redistributing pre-existing adaptive alleles among populations (“genetic rescue”). In this way, some coral populations - most notably, Vietnam, Japan, Taiwan, New Caledonia, and the southern half of t..

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