University Of Arizona Researchers Find Time To be Cause Of Flourishing Coral Reefs
For years, marine biologists were baffled by the diversity of the Coral Triangle in the western Pacific Ocean. Finally, a research team from the University of Arizona has found an answer: The reef had a lot of time.
The study was lead by UA doctoral student Elizabeth Miller. She said the species that live in the coral triangle have been able to diversify and flourish for millions of years due to the relatively stable conditions of the area.
“This period between 34 million years ago and 20 million years ago is about the time when most of the living diversity showed up in the area and they’ve been there all that time, they haven’t left," Miller said.
Miller said that unlike other marine habitats around the globe that have high speciation rates over a short period of time, the Coral Triangle is special because of its high number of new and distinct species that sustain themselves over a long period of time.