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Coral reef fish might prefer to move rather than adapt

Chromis viridis

Scientists have new evidence that coral-reef fish — who are capable of adapting to warmer temperatures brought about by global climate change — will probably opt instead to relocate to cooler parts of the ocean.

In experiments using a fish found in coral reefs around the world, the blue-green damselfish, Chromis viridis, researchers found that the fish were capable of adapting to living in water 2-4 degrees Celsius above their normal summer temperatures; however, when given the slightest chance, the fish moved to cooler water.

“When fish have to adapt to increased temperature, there are physical consequences. They may not be able to handles stress, or reproduce, or even grow,” said marine scientist Dr. Jacob Johansen from The University of Texas at Austin...

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