Why Murky Water Might Be Good For Coral Reefs

Friday, 23 March

These coral reefs in murky water may not be as popular as clear-water reefs, but they might be more resilient to coral bleaching that has devastated other colonies around the world. National Geographic Explorer Christina Braoun studied three reefs off the coast of Borneo. The waters are filled with sediment from two nearby rivers.

During a particularly warm El Niño event, coral at the three reefs showed more resilience against coral bleaching than reefs in other parts of the world. The sediment in the water may help shield the coral from harmful irradiance. This raises hope that turbid reefs may be more tolerant against climate change.