The biological basis for success of generalist coral species in a changing climate
As changes in environmental structure occur under climate change, generalist species may be better able to acclimatize to new environments or changing thermal regimes than specialist species existing within small “niche” ranges. To better understand the biological underpinnings of how generalist coral species are able to respond to future ecosystem conditions, my research focuses on 1). defining the role of a generalist coral species across environments and 2). physiological response to warming or environmental change in each of these environments. Understanding how generalist coral species may be able to capitalize on variability across its geographic range, and therefore be targeted for restoration practices, requires a holistic integration of the meta- and associated micro-organism response.
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