Rapid adaptive responses to climate change in corals

by Torda Gergely, Donelson Jennifer M., Aranda Manuel, Barshis Daniel J., Bay Line, Berumen Michael L., Bourne David G., Cantin Neal, Foret Sylvain, Matz Mikhail, Miller David J., Moya Aurelie, Putnam Hollie M., Ravasi Timothy, Van Oppen Madeleine J. H., Thu
Year: 2017


​Torda, Gergely, Jennifer M. Donelson, Manuel Aranda, Daniel J. Barshis, Line Bay, Michael L. Berumen, David G. Bourne, et al. "Rapid Adaptive Responses to Climate Change in Corals." Nature Climate Change 7 (09/01/online 2017): 627.


Pivotal to projecting the fate of coral reefs is the capacity of reef-building corals to acclimatize and adapt to climate change. Transgenerational plasticity may enable some marine organisms to acclimatize over several generations and it has been hypoth- esized that epigenetic processes and microbial associations might facilitate adaptive responses. However, current evidence is equivocal and understanding of the underlying processes is limited. Here, we discuss prospects for observing transgenerational plasticity in corals and the mechanisms that could enable adaptive plasticity in the coral holobiont, including the potential role of epigenetics and coral-associated microbes. Well-designed and strictly controlled experiments are needed to distin- guish transgenerational plasticity from other forms of plasticity, and to elucidate the underlying mechanisms and their relative importance compared with genetic adaptation.


Adaptive Response Corals Climate Change Transgenerational Plasticity