Coral reefs are some one of the most diverse marine ecosystems on Earth. They are renowned hotspots of species biodiversity and provide home to a large array of marine plants and animals. Over the past 100 years in many tropical regions sea surface temperatures have increased by almost 1°C and are currently increasing at about 1–2°C per century. Corals have very specific thermal thresholds beyond which their temperature sensitive symbiot Zooxanthellae becomes affected and causes corals to bleach. Mass bleaching has already caused significant losses to live coral in many parts of the world. This paper looks at the key role that temperature plays in affecting the health and spatial distribution of coral in the Caribbean. The relationship between coral and symbiot is examined, in addition to some of the evolutionary strategies necessary to ensure the future survival of coral with changing climate.
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