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Japanese Research: Bleached Coral Can Recover | JAPAN Forward

In 2018, the International Year of the Reef, a Shizuoka University research team has become the first in the world to identify important mechanisms involved in coral bleaching, a deadly “disease” threatening coral reefs. The team now intends to launch a full-fledged project to treat stressed corals and help threatened reefs to recover their pristine characteristics. Yoshimi Suzuki, Professor Emeritus of Shizuoka University and the research team leader, explained: How do coral live? How do they react to high water temperatures and ultraviolet rays? No one knew the answers to these very basic questions. To date, most conclusions made about coral bleaching have been based on field observations of the phenomenon and ecological approaches and not on choral physiological studies. Until now, it was thought that a type of phytoplankton called zooxanthellae, which lives in an endosymbiotic relationship within the coral, was fleeing to the surrounding water when water temperatures rose over a certain threshold (30 degrees Celsius) resulting in bleaching, since the colors of corals are mainly due to the brownish-green color of their zooxanthellae. In fact, this point of view is still mainstream. The results of our research using the branching stony coral (Montipora digitata) showed that actually, when the coral is under thermal stress, very few zooxanthellae are being released from the coral. In spite of that, the zooxanthellae abundance (or concentration) remarkably decrease within the coral tissues. A research team that includes Professor Suzuki and Professor Beatriz Estela Casareto of Shizuoka University has worked to elucidate the mechanisms of coral bleaching in their ongoing research. In doing so, the team challenged the views of experts. With financial support and employee volunteers from the Mitsubishi Corporation, Professor Suzuki’s team has engaged in scientific experiments since 2005 to identify the mechanisms behind coral bleaching. The results have turned up a series of new facts, upending conventionally-accepted views. Full Story: https://goo.gl/XNwiwb === About JAPAN Forward: JAPAN Forward is a new English-language news and opinion website run by the JAPAN Forward association Inc. JAPAN Forward aims to present the true face of Japan, as seen from a wide variety of perspectives, to a rapidly-changing world where unpredictability often outpaces stability. Japan has long lagged behind other countries—all of which have their own points of view—in conveying her own take on the world around. JAPAN Forward sets out to overcome misunderstandings born of linguistic barriers. In covering major news stories in Japan, along with key points of debate, current events, history, culture, and the arts, we hope to deepen the world’s understanding of the Japanese archipelago. With the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games on the horizon, there is a great need for a new English-language medium rooted in solid fact and fully cognizant of the history and culture of Japan and the Japanese people. Our expanding network of influential analysts and foreign experts based in Japan and overseas means that we are continuously improving our ability to bring the truth about Japan to an ever-wider English-speaking audience. At the helm of JAPAN Forward is an editor who has decades of journalism experience in Europe and the United States, while our editorial team of native speakers hails from policy research centers, academia, journalism outlets, and more. This is the real Japan, in real English. JAPAN Forward is operated by JAPAN Forward Association Inc., which has also established the JAPAN Forward Supporters Network to allow individual and corporate sponsors to join in our mission to keep Japan moving forward and build our recognition in the Anglosphere. Website: http://japan-forward.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/japanforward/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/itsjapanforward Instagram: https://instagram.com/japanforward


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