Coral reef conservation is a steppingstone to protect marine biodiversity and life in the ocean as we know it. The health of coral also has huge societal implications: reef ecosystems provide sustenance and livelihoods for millions of people around the world. In the face of climate change, Annalisa Bracco, professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, and Lyuba Novi, a postdoctoral fellow, offer a new methodology that could revolutionize how conservationists monitor coral. The researchers applied machine learning tools to study how climate impacts connectivity and biodiversity in the Pacific Ocean’s Coral Triangle — the most diverse and biologically complex marine ecosystem on the planet.
Machine learning predicts biodiversity and resilience in the Coral Triangle