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Research offers clue to the surprising health of Eilat’s coral reefs

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Published: 8 February 2019

Last updated: 4 March 2024

As global coral populations decline due to climate change, a new study sheds light on why the reefs found in the Gulf of Eilat seem to have adapted to the hot temperatures

WHILE THE CORAL REEFS are dying out in most parts of the world due to devastating effects of climate change, they appear to have adapted to the scorching temperatures of the Gulf of Eilat in southern Israel, thriving to the astonishment of the scientists.

A recent study published by the Journal of Experimental Biology reveals that the spawns of the fully formed corals in the Eilat waters of the northern Red Sea, inherited the same genetic imprint responsible for hot weather adaptation, making the gulf one of the few places on earth where the this underwater ecosystem will continue for years to come in the face of the deteriorating climate change.

The study was conducted by researchers at the laboratory of Professor Maoz Fine of the Faculty of Life Sciences at Bar-Ilan University, as well as scientists from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL).

The unique aspect of Prof. Fein's research is that it examines the impact of climate change on reproductive processes of the coral reef population, as opposed to the examination of various life stages of an adult coral.

FULL STORY Does Israel hold the key to saving the world's coral reefs? (Ynet)

Photo: Coral reefs in the Gulf of Eilat (Photo: Nature and Parks Authority)

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