Do corals exposed to climate change have more resilient offspring?

During this year’s spawning we will interbreed colonies of the coral species Platygyra daedalea that have been housed at AIMS since 2018.

In 2018 we showed that some of these corals have differential heat tolerance. We now aim to use the same colonies in a second heat stress experiment to identify quantitative trail loci for heat tolerance in coral larvae and to examine associations between these and adult performance.

With the samples collected during our experiments we use molecular tools to examine both genetic and epigenetic mechanisms of inheritance of heat tolerance. These results are important to understand if and how corals will naturally adapt to climate change and to underpin new management tools being investigated for reef restoration and adaptation.