Sickly coral reefs fail the smell test

August 22, 2014 1:54 PM

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Sickly coral reefs fail the smell test

Young corals and fish in the Pacific Ocean can smell a bad neighborhood. When looking for a place to settle down, these animals use chemical cues to avoid reefs that are littered with seaweed and flock to healthy habitats instead, according to a new study.

Scientists have seen corals decline around the world over the past several decades, and the new findings help explain why some reefs aren't recovering or recruiting new corals, despite conservation efforts.

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