Exploring Reef Communities
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The purpose of this study centers on the coral community around the Poor Knights Islands, located off New Zealand. Situated just south of the Indo-Pacific warm pool, this community has been exposed to warmer than average temperatures over the past 30 years. Dramatic changes in water temperature stresses coral, making them more susceptible to disease and invasive species. Under ideal conditions, reef communities gradually accumulate species, reaching a peak in species diversity before becoming dominated by one or a few species.