Washington, Oct 26 : Scientists at the Department of Biological Sciences have found a previously unknown coral reef in the Seychelles.
As part of an ongoing study, Dave Smith and Dave Suggett visited Curieuse Island, which is managed by the Seychelles Centre of Marine Research and Technology-Marine Protected Areas (SCMRT-MPA).
Smith and Suggett were joined by PhD student Seb Hennige as well as local Seychelles collaborators.
The island is home to over 200 giant tortoises but it was thought no coral reefs were present.
"Diving revealed an extensive coral reef to the south of the island, at a depth which would not be visible to the occasional snorkeller," Science Daily quoted Smith, as saying.
Besides discovering the reef, the researchers found signs of destruction, and subsequent recovery, caused by the 2004 tsunami.
"From the field data we were able to design experiments to test species ability to tolerate climate change events in a makeshift laboratory. These studies demonstrated that there are clear physiological differences between the tolerant and sensitive species, and provided evidence for different mechanisms," Smith said.
"Our findings will result in a change in approach to how we design future experiments to predict the fate of coral reefs faced with climate change," he added.